President Rodrigo Duterte seems serious enough in ending the Abu Sayyaf threat after he offered a P1 million reward for each member of the terrorist group who escaped an armed encounter with government forces in Bohol last week.
During a security briefing in Bohol, the President said that the bounty stands whether the Abu Sayyaf members are killed or captured alive, Philstar reports.
“Ang order ko is dead or alive. Kaya yung anim na scouring yung safety nets kung saan sila maka-landing, I have P1 million offer per person. Tip lang ang ibigay mo sa police pati sa military... Sabihin mo lang kung nasaan sila at gobyerno na ang bahala,” he said.
Duterte, however, added that he preferred the terrorists killed, as keeping them alive will incur additional expenses for the government. “If they are produced alive, I would have to feed them and that would be costly,” he said.
He also said he was open to the idea of arming civilians who want to help the government eradicate the Abu Sayyaf, which is notorious for their kidnapping activities. “Pag nakapatay ka (as a civilian) you do not have to worry. You just go to the police and make the report and state your truth and wala kang problema,” he said.
Duterte’s statement comes after the clash between Abu Sayyaf members and joint forces of police and military personnel in Inabanga, Bohol on April 11 where at least five terrorists were able to flee.
During the encounter, four government operatives were killed, including three soldiers and a policeman. Meanwhile, five individuals from the side of the Abu Sayyaf perished with Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Muamar Askali, alias Abu Rami.
According to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the terrorists are still in Bohol and currently remain at large.