Government security forces will stay in Bohol until the last ASEAN delegate is out, Chief Supt. Noli Taliño, the regional director of the Philippine National Police Region 7, said.
He said in a telephone interview yesterday that they will monitor the arrival and departures of the ASEAN delegates, “accredited or unaccredited”, from Bohol.
The ASEAN 2017 meetings at a resort in Panglao, Bohol, reeled off today until Saturday, April 22.
But some delegates are expected to stay behind even after the meetings are over.
A send-off ceremony of composite security forces under Task Group Bohol, with Taliño as task group commander, was held Wednesday, a day ahead of the ASEAN 2017 meetings, with Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto in attendance.
Taliño reiterated his previous statement of Bohol being safe amidst the terror threat posed by the Abu Sayyaf Group.
He said there are about six or seven stragglers still in Bohol, although they are being closely monitored.
Three of them are believed wounded, he said, but these Abu Sayyaf members are believed to be in hiding in or within the vicinity of Inabanga, a town in Bohol far from the ASEAN venue, Taliño said.
He debunked previous media reports that there were 60 armed men believed to be Abu Sayyaf bandits in Bohol.
The latest information they have is that about 10 to 11 Abu Sayyaf members had arrived in Inabanga just before the April 10 encounter where nine people, including four government troopers, were killed.
Taliño has assured of tight security in Bohol to ensure the safety of the ASEAN delegates.*JFP
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