Police were alerted after 13 Maranaos claiming to be “missionaries” based in Davao City arrived in Jagna at dawn on Tuesday, said authorities.
According to PO2 Jason Lurden of the Jagna Police Station, the men, aged 20 to 25, got off a Lite Shipping vessel at 4 a.m. from Cagayan de Oro and have now scattered to various areas in the province.
Based on police investigation, the Maranaos arrived in the province to urge fellow Muslims who have stopped going to mosques to again visit their places of worship to pray.
The Maranaos intend to visit Muslim communities in Tagbilaran City, Jagna and Ubay, said Lurden.
The policeman also noted that they have already coordinated with the Muslim community in Pandan, Jagna which is led by Gasa Medal, an imam.
Medal reportedly vouched for the Maranao men noting that they are law-abiding citizens.
The town of Jagna has two barangays that have large Muslim populations composed of Maranaos and Tausugs, Lurden added.
Meanwhile, additional police forces have been stationed in Jagna since Monday to heighten security at the town’s port which receives vessels from Mindanao.
For his part, Bohol police Provincial Intelligence Branch chief Senior Insp. Jojit Mananquil said that the Maranao men were cooperative when they were questioned by authorities.
According to Mananquil, police operatives in the province continued to beef up monitoring operations against any threat following the incursion of Abu Sayyaf bandits into Bohol last month. (Rey Tutas)