‘Bohol caves turn into fugitives’ hideout’

THERE are seven caves in Clarin, Bohol and from tourist spots, they became terror spots as members of the Abu Sayyaf Group took refuge under their rocky domes.

According to Clarin Mayor Allen Ray Piezas, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has given them the areas where the caves are located and said that some were tourist spots before the earthquake hit Bohol in 2013.

“But we didn’t expect that these elements would use the caves for hiding because who would dare as the earthquake damaged some and it would be dangerous for people to go through them,” Piezas said.

It was a cave in Sitio Kalubian, Barangay Bacani that served as the hideout of the wounded ASG members after the Inabanga clash, where they stayed for days to recuperate.

In the official website of Bohol, there are 1,200 caves in the island, which was dubbed as the “Cave Country.”

Piezas said that because of the clash, they will explore the caves and discuss among the board members how they will deal with the caves being used as hideouts by insurgents.

“Ten years ago, Bohol was declared as an insurgency-free island. But now, we are on our toes and we are being vigilant to deter other groups from coming here and sowing fear to our people,” Piezas said.

He said there are 13 barangays out of 24 that have been evacuated because of the presence of the ASG members.

Piezas said they used P800,000 of the P1 million for relief efforts, which called for the declaration of a state of calamity in Clarin.

Meanwhile, a man suffering from a mental illness was picked up by police for questioning after residents claimed that he was speaking “strangely.”

Albert Laguna, who hails from Amboan, Catigbian, Bohol was mistaken as alias Richard, part of the ASG who engaged government troops in Bohol to a clash.

Piezas cleared Laguna after the former called Catigbian Mayor Boy Lurot for the man’s identification.

Piezas said that it will be up to the Clarin Police to decide when they will release Laguna.
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