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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, April 24, 2017
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No ASG-NPA collusion: Aying

The Army's 3 rd Infantry Division yesterday debunked reports of “collusion” between the Abu Sayyaf bandits and the New People's Army in a bid to pursue their mission to kidnap prominent personalities in the Visayas.

There is no confirmation of that, said Aying, who graduated Saturday with a Doctorate in Public Administration degree from the West Negros University at a ceremony held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City.

It is more of hearsay than a report, he said.

Navy Capt. George Ibarra, Task Force Deter commander, raised the possibility of a “collusion” between the ASG bandits and the NPA, as they are also validating intelligence information about sightings of armed men in some areas of Santa Catalina town in Negros Oriental.

Negros Oriental Gov. RoelDegamo said he was informed of suspected NPA rebels who fled from Bohol after the encounter, who were sighted in thevillages of Fatima and Omanod in Sta. Catalina, on their way to Negros Occidental through Payaw-payawan.

Ayingadmitted that JoselitoMilloria, alias Abu Allih, who was killed in the first encounter Saturday afternoon in Brgy. Bacani, Clarin town of Bohol, used to be a member of the NPA, before he became a Muslim convert. After his conversion, he went to Mindanao, and returned to Bohol, bringing with him 10 ASG bandits, he added.

He added that Melloriaassumed leadership of the ASG stragglers, following the death of their leader,Muammar Askali alias Abu Rami on April 11, during an encounter in SitioYraya, Barangay Napo, Inabangatown,Bohol.

Melloria and three other ASG bandits died on Saturday, in a series of armed skirmishes in Brgy, Bacani, Clarin town of Bohol.

Aying, who supervises 3ID troops stationed in Negros Island Region, Western and CebteraHe also reported that they have already accounted for eight ASG bandits, recovered seven high-powered firearms and a grenade launcher. There are now three of them left with one believed to be already dead and buried, Aying added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command yesterday attributed the neutralization of four more Abu Sayaff bandits, who were killed in two encounters Saturday in SitioLagsing, Brgy. Bacani, Bohol, to the vigilance of the community that led to the successful operations of the military and police.

The neutralization of four ASG bandits also came three days after President Rodrigo Duterte announced that he will offer a P1 million cash reward for each member the terrorist group, who are in Bohol, killed.

Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao, AFP Central Command chief, said that the continuous flow of information from civilian communities led the government forces to the exact locations where the armed group was temporarily hiding.

With their support, we are confident that we can totally eliminate the threat in Bohol, Lactao said.

Aying and Lactao used to command the 303 rd Infantry Brigade in Negros Occidental. Both are members of the Philippine Military Academy of Class 1984.* GPB

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