IT WAS not only the identities of the slain Abu Sayyaf members who “invaded” Inabanga, Bohol that created confusion because authorities failed to clearly identify them. The latest question that cropped up is, how much did the tipsters really get?

A handwritten, one-page document signed by one of the informants said he only received P450,000 as reward for giving information that resulted to the killing of four Abu Sayyaf members, including the Boholano guide Joselito Melloria, in the Clarin encounter, a week after the Inabanga encounter.

The informant, a habal-habal driver, was forced to come out in the open after his neighbors trooped to his house asking for “balato,” thinking that he is now a millionaire. Fearing for his security, he showed them the handwritten acknowledgment receipt that showed much much he received. The document was signed by a top-ranking military officer. It was very clear that President Rodrigo Duterte, during his visit to Bohol days after the Inabanga encounter last April 11, promised P1 million for each head to a civilian who could provide information that would lead to the arrest of the terrorists.

Simple arithmetic shows that the tipster, if he was acting alone, should have received P4 million cash. If there were eight persons who acted as tipsters, then they would have receive P450,000. But we don’t know how many informants there were? When the military gave the award last week, the media was banned from witnessing the event, with authorities claiming that it was highly confidential.

What was so confidential about it? If they didn’t want the identities of the tipster, or tipsters, known, authorities could have asked them to wear masks. That’s why I’m challenging our top military officials to release the pictures of the “awarding” ceremony. I am sure they took pictures for documentation purposes.

Bohol Gov. Egar Chatto defended the amount given to the tipster, saying “the money promised by our President was intended only for Joselito Melloria, the local guide, and not for the another three Abu Sayyaf members because the Army explained that they were subdued based on military intelligence and not through civilian tip.”

What??? I thought Governor Chatto is a bright person because he is a lawyer. The reward was only for Melloria because the other three were subdued by the military through their intelligence efforts? Salamagan, Mr. Governor. Did you think the four terrorists would have been killed without the tip from the habal-habal driver? What intelligence efforts was Chatto talking about?

The military was not even able to monitor the landing of the bandits in Inabanga. And eight Abu Sayyaf members managed to escape after the Inabanga encounter even though they were surrounded by hundreds of soldiers and policemen, who were backed by air assets.

Maayo lang pakungon nang inyong ulo ni PRO 7 Chief Noli Taliño. Masyadong mga mayabang kayo. Who pocketed the huge part of the reward? I hope this issue will reach the President because this is corruption to the highest degree.