Regional security council to meet next week

Cebu Gov. Hilario P. Davide III will convene the Regional Peace and Order Council in Central Visayas (RPOC 7) next week after the trade minister’s meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) which started on Wednesday, April 19 in Bohol.

Davide, who is the chairman of RPOC 7, set the tentative date on Thursday next week to ensure the attendance of other governors and top police and military officials of the region.

Currently, Bohol Gov. Edgar Chatto is having his hands full with the hosting of the Asean meetings by his province.

Top officials of the Police Regional Office 7 and Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command, who are part of the security council, are likewise fully occupied overseeing the security of Asean delegates in Bohol.

Chatto’s presence is expected to provide important insights in dealing with terror threats following the siege by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Bohol town of Inabanga last April 11.

The regional security council is composed of chief executives of local government units (LGUs), line agencies, the PNP and the military in Central Visayas.

Expected to be at the top of RPOC 7 agenda is the possible spillover of the ASG’s presence in Bohol into its neighboring provinces.

After a running gun battle with government troops in Barangay Napo, some members of the bandits who survived the fierce firefight had eluded arrest. They have been pursued by the police and military forces up to now.

The encounter left 10 people dead, including four members of the terror group, one of whom authorities believed to be their leader, Moumar “Abu Rami” Askali.

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