“A very notorious Abu Sayyaf leader” Muammar Askali more known as Abu Rami has already been positively identified as one of the bandits killed during the encounter in Bohol province on Tuesday, Gen. Eduardo Año, chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 as per an Inquirer story.
Año said troops took the picture of Abu Rami after his death from a bloody encounter between Abu Sayyaf and Philippine troops that happened Tuesday in Napo, Inabangan, Bohol. He added that the surrendered Abu Sayyaf bandits identified Rami.
In the firefight that broke out at 5:20 a.m., five members of the rebel group were killed according to a statement teleased by AFP-Central Command and PNP-RO7. However, three army men were also killed; identified as 2nd Lt. Estelito Saldua, Sgt. John Dexter Duero and Cpl. Miljune Cajaban — all from the 47th Infantry Batallion.
A police officer was also killed, though the identity was not immediately available, and another soldier wounded.
Navy and Air force personnel also helped with their gunships, bombs, and airstrikes.
Five Abu members were able to escape after the troops’ reinforcements arrived.
The Abu Sayyaf group was planning to take advantage of the tourist-crowded Holy week in Bohol. They seemed to be on another kidnap mission but the Philippine troops were “monitoring” the movements of Rami’s group.
Año said Rami was seen as one of the future leaders of an Abu Sayyaf group that could be affiliated with IS. “He was trying to make a name for himself,” he added.
Rami’s group is known internationally for savagely executing foreigners in the Philippines. Their group beheaded Canadian Robert Hall on June 13, 2016, Canadian John Ridsdel on April 25, 2016, and German national Jürgen Gustav Kantner on Feb. 26 after the bandits failed to get ransom.
As we recall last year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a stand of not giving in to terrorist kidnappings like this, for it will only fuel their campaign more. President Duterte apologized and promised to the Canadian leader in May of last year, that he will exact justice, even before his inauguration as president on June 2016.
May we take a moment of silence for our fallen brothers – heroes, Christians, Muslims, Filipinos, victims.