TAGBILARAN CITY -- Not many were aware, but a septuagenarian almost captured single-handedly a member of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Bohol province last week.
The 70-year-old Lolo (Grandpa) Peryong confronted Abu Ubayda and engaged him in a hand-to-hand combat in his backyard in the town of Calape. Abu Ubayda was the last of an 11-member Abu Sayyaf team, who clandestinely slipped into Bohol last month with the intention to kidnap victims for ransom.
Captain Jojo Mascarinas, intelligence officer of the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said Lolo Peryong was cleaning his backyard in the afternoon of May 15 when Ubayda, armed with an M16 assault rifle, intruded the perimeter of his house in Barangay Lawis in the town of Calape some 45 kilometers north of this city.
While all his neighbors fled for their lives, Lolo Peryong took a bolo and bravely attacked the bandit.
Ubayda was apparently caught by surprise as Lolo Peryong came swinging his bolo at him.
Ubayda, for whatever reason, did not shoot Lolo Peryong but was able to parry the old man’s non-stop bolo thrusts and hacking. He succeeded in seizing the bladed weapon from the old man, who continued to attack.
Eventually, Ubayda stabbed Peryong, then butt stroke him with his rifle before pursuing Army soldiers arrived and shot the terrorist dead.
Fortunately for Lolo Peryong, the wound was not fatal. He was brought to the hospital, where he is now recovering.
Boholanos compared the heroic deed of Lolo Peryong to that of the great Boholano hero, Francisco Dagohoy, who staged the longest revolt in the Philippines against the well-armed Spaniards for 85 years from 1744 to 1826.
During the military operation against the Abu Sayyaf in Bohol, another villager identified as Crisanto Bancore engaged Abu Asis, Ubayda’s companion, in a brief fistfight while Asis was trying to flee from pursuing government forces.
Asis was later gunned down before he could escape.
READ: Abu Sayyaf crisis in Bohol
With the death of Abu Ubayda and Abu Asis, military officials have declared Bohol as free of Abu Sayyaf terrorists and safe for residents and tourists alike. (PNA)