MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang lauded the bravery and heroism of military and police who were able to foil an attack in Bohol by suspected members of local terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.
“The Palace commends the timely action of our military and police that thwarted the evil plans of some armed lawless elements to sow fear and terror in the province of Bohol,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella in a statement on Wednesday, April 12.
Malacañang described the 3 soldiers and policeman who died in the encounter with the armed group as “true heroes.” Abella said their families would be given assistance.
“One officer, two soldiers, and a policeman paid the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duty to serve and protect our people. They are true heroes. We salute their gallantry as we also assure their families that they will be provided all the necessary assistance from the government,” said Duterte’s spokesman.
At the time of the firefight between security forces and the armed group, President Rodrigo Duterte was in Saudi Arabia for his weeklong visit to the Middle East.
According to the Palace, security forces killed at least 6 members of the armed group during the firefight in Inabanga town on Tuesday, April 11.
Malacañang also recognized the vigilance and cooperation of communities in Bohol that were critical in ensuring speedy deployment of military and police against the armed men.
Abella gave assurances that security forces are “in control” of the peace and order situation in Central Visayas.
“The public should have no cause for alarm as the situation is contained and our security forces are in control. The government is exerting all efforts to maintain peace and order,” he said.
Nevertheless, the Palace called on the public to “remain alert and vigilant” and report to authorities any information about possible threats to public safety.
The encounter between security forces and the armed group happened days after the United States issued a travel advisory warning of planned kidnappings by terrorist groups in Central Visayas.
Soon after, national police chief Ronald dela Rosa said security forces were on top of the situation. – Rappler.com