THE Bohol tipster who led government troops to a cave in Clarin where Abu Sayyaf members were hiding last April 22 finally got the financial reward President Rodrigo Duterte had promised.
The money was personally delivered by Major General Oscar Lactao, commander of the Philippine Army-Central Command yesterday morning.
Lactao, speaking in a press conference in the People's Mansion in Tagbilaran City, did not disclose how many people, aside from the habal-habal driver, were given the money or how much was given.
"It's classified information," Lactao said.
The media was not allowed to cover the “handover” for security purposes.
"The recipient is energized to help catch the stragglers," Lactao said.
In his visit to Bohol last week, Duterte promised a P1 million bounty for each Abu Sayyaf member found or killed on top of the P100,000 that the local government of Bohol would give.
Still in the island
Four bandits were killed during the second encounter with government troops in Clarin lat April 22, including local guide Joselito Melloria.
The other casualties were only identified as Omil, Richard and Poy.
The first clash happened on April 11 in Inabanga, where sub-leader Abu Rami and three others died.
Government troops are still looking for the group's three remaining companions.
"They are on survival mode, hungry, tired, contained in the area, no threat to plan and execute any atrocities," Lactao said.
Lactao advised the public to report only firsthand information immediately.
"Don't invent information. Be truthful and have a sense of urgency," he said.
Brigadier General Arnulfo Matanguihan, commander of 302nd Army Brigade, said they are confident that the three bandits are still in Bohol and that one of them may have died of starvation and untreated wounds.
"We have good intelligence and there's a report that one of the stragglers died. Traces of blood were found in the encounter site last Saturday," he said.
He added that the intensified operation forced the three bandits to separate.
Meanwhile, Bohol Provincial Police Office Director Felipe Natividad said they have an airtight case against alleged bomb expert Renierlo Dongon and his lover, Superintendent Maria Cristina Bruganda Nobleza.
Nobleza is facing charges for illegal possession of firearms and for harboring of a criminal or fugitive.
In a Balitang Bisdak report, Nobleza's mother Rosenda Bruganda and brother Allen begged the President to dig deeper into Nobleza's case.
"She has many awards and has no records. Please, President Duterte, give justice to Tin-Tin (Nobleza)," Rosenda said in the report.
Allen said that Dongon and Nobleza are together because of work.
"My sister is some sort of handler to him. That's their only connection, purely work," he said.
Nobleza is a native of Tinambac, Camarines Sur.
The tourist police officers who helped Nobleza and Dongon find a place to stay in Panglao are also being investigated, Natividad said, while the owner of the apartment the couple stayed in will go scot-free after they turn over Nobleza's belongings to police.
Meanwhile, Tagbilaran City Mayor Baba Yap assured that all systems are go in terms of security for the city's annual fiesta tomorrow.
“Security is tight and strict,” he said.