Quiet burial rites for ASG members as Melloria kin watch

It was a silent funeral for the once “good” and “behaved” Joselito Melloria and three other suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Barangay Poblacion Centro, Clarin, Bohol yesterday afternoon.

Melloria’s mother Norma became emotional upon seeing her son’s body.

“I don’t blame the military and the police. He was at fault,” she said after breaking down.

Flanked by her daughters and relatives, Norma stayed a few meters away when the bodies were being brought down.

Melloria’s body was the only one placed inside a coffin while the others were contained in black body bags with the initials of the Department of Health (DOH). They were put side by side, with Melloria’s white coffin at the center.

Norma revealed to SunStar Cebu that she called Melloria’s wife in Zamboanga City. “She asked me, ‘Is he dead already?’ and that’s it. This was two days before his death,” Norma said.

She said that Melloria only told her that his family would have a vacation in the quiet farming village of Sitio Ilaya.

Instead of his wife and kid, he brought with him, 11 heavily-armed Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) members.

Melloria was killed in the second encounter, which started 11 days after the first clash in Sitio Ilaya, Barangay Napo, Inabanga.

Mila Roble, 59, a resident of Barangay Caboy in Clarin, whose house is just a few steps from where the three Abu Sayyaf bandits were slain, said they were alarmed when they heard the gunshots near their house.

“They were just about to pass behind our house to maybe try to take hostage one of my grandchildren, but it was a good thing that the military was fast enough to deter them,” she said.

The first clash in Inabanga claimed four lives including Abu Rami, their leader, while the second clash also killed four, including Melloria who acted as a guide. ((JOB)
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