THE Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP) dismissed speculations that the military and the police received a share of the reward money for civilian tipsters.
“We are not allowed to accept the reward money because we are being paid by the government,” said Gen. Arnulfo Matangguihan, 302nd Infantry Brigade commander.
He asked the public to stop sowing distrust on the government, and instead, help them protect the identities of informants.
Matangguihan issued the statement amid questions on why the habal-habal driver, one of the informants, only received P450,000 cash reward instead of the P1-million cash earlier announced by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The information provided by the driver reportedly led government troops to the Abu Sayyaf hiding place in Clarin, Bohol. Matangguihan, however, said that the AFP received many kinds of informants that led troops to the Abu Sayyaf hideout.
Speaking in front of local government officials and the police during a security briefing in Tagbilaran City, Matangguihan said that the information given by the habal-habal driver and three others was only for the neutralization of Joselito Melloria at 12:45 p.m. last April 22.
Military intelligence then took charge of the other three Abu Sayyaf members. “We do our own reconnaissance, we get information from open sources like the media and the internet and finally we have civilian tips to help us in tracking down lawless elements,” Matangguihan said.
At least 11 members of the ASG engaged military and police in two separate clashes in Inabanga and Clarin, Bohol.
Nine members were killed, while two more are being hunted down by government troops. They were last sighted in the mountain barangay of Candungao, San Isidro town.