From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 29): UK envoy eager to learn how Bohol crushed Abus
The British ambassador to the Philippines expressed his curiosity on how Bohol managed the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) problem that besieged the province last April .
Ambassador Asif Anwar Ahmad met with Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto on Tuesday at the People’s Mansion here and discussed the ASG problem and how Bohol managed to solve the problem, among other topics.
Chatto told the British envoy that the influence and immense help of the people from the “puroks” or small communities contributed greatly to the solution of the terror problem.
He explained to Ahmad that people at the purok level have shown vigilance and supported the effort of the security forces that led to the neutralization of the ASG bandits who came to the province.
About 11 ASG members made their way into the province last April and were neutralized by the military with the help of the people after about 34 days.
Chatto said other foreign envoys have also asked him how the province solved the biggest security threat since the eradication of the insurgency problem.
Last Friday, the Central Command (Centcom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Police Regional Office - 7 commended the civilian leadership of the province and urged other places to emulate the “Bohol template” to maintain peace and order.
“I commend the political leaders of Bohol. Choose your leaders well like you chose Gov. Chatto. I’m urging others to follow the template of Bohol,” said AFP Centcom commander Lt. Gen. Oscar Lactao.
Chatto admitted that he was greatly touched by the people’s ardor to lend a helping hand in thwarting the ASG attempt, “with the informants even endangering themselves just to provide real-time information.”
Despite the commendations, the governor quickly said, “we are still at a situation that needs preparedness.”
Meanwhile, security will be tighter in Bohol as some delegates of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cebu might be visiting Bohol to see some of the province’s tourist sites.
The governor told the security forces to be extra vigilant and prevent any untoward incident from happening.