The British ambassador to the Philippines showed curiosity on how Bohol managed the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) problem that besieged the province, during his visit on Tuesday at the People’s Mansion here.
Ambassador Asif Anwar Ahmad met with Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto and among those discussed was the problem with the ASG and how Bohol managed to solve the problem.
Chatto has been boasting the influence and immense help of the people in the puroks in the solution of the terror problem. 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 that came to the province.
About 11 ASG members made their way into the province last April and were neutralized, with the help of the people, by the military about 34 days after.
Chatto revealed the British ambassador’s curiosity about the Bohol solution to the terror problem. He said other foreign envoys 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 the 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.”
PNP Regional Director Gen. Noli Talino who was also present during the ceremonies proudly told everyone, referring to the Abu Sayyaf incident, is called “we worked together.”
Meanwhile, security will be tighter as some delegates of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cebu might be visiting Bohol to see some the province’s tourism sites.
The security forces are told to be extra vigilant by the governor to prevent any incidents from happening.