2 remaining Abu Sayyaf members in Bohol 'fighting for survival'
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine military on Tuesday, April 25, said that the two remaining Abu Sayyaf members in Bohol are "fighting for their survival" and may be caught soon by government forces.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla gave the update in a Palace news briefing on Tuesday, as he gave his assurance to the people of Bohol and travelers planning to visit the province that there is no serious threat there.
"The assessment of the Central Command...is that these two are fighting for their survival so they don't pose any serious threat anymore," Padilla said nearly two weeks after government forces foiled an attempt of the Abu Sayyaf to carry out abductions in Bohol, a major Philippine tourist destination. (READ: Bad or good intel: 5 questions on Abu Sayyaf presence in Bohol)
The military believes that the other ASG member who was at large had died of "exposure to the elements and of hunger," leaving only two bandits on the run.
These two are supposedly in an area in Bohol that has been "encircled" by security forces. It's only a matter of time before they are caught, said Padilla.
"The two who are still being hunted [are] known to be in an area where we are already closely guarding and have encircled. Because of their long exposure to the elements, what they are doing now is to fight for their survival," he said.
Authorities are hunting down all those involved in the planned attack on Bohol of the Abu Sayyaf, a Jolo- bandit group whose leaders have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The Philippine National Police recently arrested a female police officer suspected of helping ASG members behind the foiled Bohol attack.
The AFP also said 4 of the ASG members behind the plan were killed in a military operation on April 22.
President Rodrigo Duterte offered a P1-million bounty for the apprehension, "dead or alive", of each Abu Sayyaf member behind the foiled attack. – Rappler.com