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Bohol officials: Children’s timely info helped defeat Abu Sayyaf

  • Bohol officials lauded role of children in thwarting bandit group
  • They were the ones who saw armed strangers in their area first, passed info to their parents
  • Continuing vigilance urged

MANILA, Philippines – Two officials in Bohol have lauded children for their critical role in helping thwart the incursions made by the Abu Sayyaf Group.

According to Inabanga Mayor Josephine Jumamoy, children from her town were the first to see members of the bandit group congregating in their area.

“May nakita daw silang ibang tao at saka sabi nila na ibang klaseng pump boat na parang may nilabas silang parang mga bigas daw. Then nung inilabas nila, parang mga baril,” she told ABS-CBN.

[They said they saw some strange men in strange pump boats unloading what appeared to be sacks of rice. What they took out from the sacks appeared to be firearms instead.]

According to Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto, the children shared what they saw with their parents who in turn passed it onto the police.

“Nakatulong din yung responses natin makukuha natin sa mga tao and as long as the intelligence groups of the military and the police are sharing information, they are sharing information,” he said “Sa tulungan ng mga information ng mga tao at the intelligence of the local government, we are able to thwart any possible incident as of this point in time.”

[The people’s responses helped us and as long as the intelligence groups of the military and the police are sharing information, they are sharing information. Because of the help given by information from the people, and the intelligence of the local government, we are able to thwart any possible incident as of this point in time.]

Chatto said locals will continue to remain vigilant in the aftermath of the incursion.

“Yes, we are safe as long as all of us will be vigilant—the same vigilance, if not more, than what our people have been showing because our government response will always be there when the right information comes in at the right time,” he said.