Police intelligence network belied the information circulated to Facebook Messenger users that some Abu Sayyaf members have infiltrated a number of towns in Bohol.
Police Senior Insp. Jojit Mananquil of the Provincial Intelligence Branch of the Bohol Police Provincial Office (BPPO) belied any information indicating that the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) succeeded in penetrating the towns of Duero, Mabini, and Pilar.
Mananquil also called on the public to refrain from forwarding the message that states the ASG has gained the sympathy of the people in these areas by establishing a friendship.
According to the Facebook post and the same information spread through the messenger, the ASG members came smoothly by not bringing any firearm.
The information was allegedly an intelligence report relayed by a reliable source, stating that the ASG members employed such friendly tactics and befriended the folks in areas that they would reach.
The information circulated through messenger also stated that military personnel even conducted patrol operations at night to monitor the coastlines around Bohol in response to reports that some pump boats would dock to unload high-powered firearms.
However, Mananquil dismissed the information as just a hoax and i spreading it could only cause panic.
The public still has to stay vigilant, though, and help monitor any suspicious individuals in their neighborhood, according to Mananquil.
Any sighting of suspicious individuals must be reported immediately to authorities, he added.
On the other hand, Gov. Edgar Chatto reiterated his call for Bohol residents’ continued vigilance.
Chatto said the sustainability of peace and order in the province rests on the vigilance of the people not only against the ASG but also against the New People’s Army (NPA).
He advised the public to report any suspicious individual to authorities through the hotline numbers 09054551543, 09177010552, 09471941688, 09479948293.
The provincial government gathered the Improved Prosperity (iPro) and Prosperity Campaign Against Terrorism (ProCAT) teams of the Countryside Development Program-Purok Power Movement (CDP-PPM) for regular assessment reporting of deployed teams last Friday at Casa Rey Francis.
The grassroots assessment showed that Bohol remains an insurgent-free province with the cooperation of the people.
The delivery of government services and the efficient feedback mechanism established through the CDP-PPM significantly helped in blocking any attempt by the legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines-NPA-National Democratic Front (CNN) from facilitating the re-entry of the rebel group.
In the assessment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, “the underground movement could not gain support and sympathy from the barangay folks because the people have already felt the programs and services delivered by the government to them”.
The CDP-PPM Agri Caravan Medical/Dental Outreach has also helped establish strong collaboration between the provincial government and other government line agencies “in delivering free services and programs to the people”.
The CDP-PPM emphasized that “the campaign against terrorism, illegal drugs, and underground movement are everybody’s concern”.
“There is no other substitute for vigilance to sustain the peace and order situation in Bohol,” according to Liza Quirog, the governor’s chief of staff and chair of the technical working group of the Agri Caravan Medical/Dental Outreach.
Recently, it had been monitored that the CNN continues to try to regain stronghold in Bohol, but failed.
In fact, the presence of some unidentified persons had been reported in a few hinterland barangays previously controlled by the NPA.
However, verification of the information proved negative of any activity that could be linked to the NPA.
On this, the provincial government is confident that with the continued vigilance and cooperation of the people, Bohol will sustain its insurgent-free status.