The affected teachers from Sumisip and Tipo-Tipo towns converged at the Department of Education (DepEd) division office in Isabela City yesterday, Nuriya Jamaldin, Basilan assistant schools division superintendent, said.
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Basilan teachers refuse to hold classes due to Abu Sayyaf threat
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - July 17, 2019 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Around 200 public school teachers in two towns in Basilan have refused to hold classes, citing threats from Abu Sayyaf bandits. 

The affected teachers from Sumisip and Tipo-Tipo towns converged at the Department of Education (DepEd) division office in Isabela City yesterday, Nuriya Jamaldin, Basilan assistant schools division superintendent, said.  

The teachers cited reports that Abu Sayyaf bandits would kidnap and kill them in retaliation for the arrest of Muida Sabala Hataman, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority provincial director,  a wife of Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Radzmir Janatul. 

Hataman was arrested last month after a raid on her house allegedly yielded bomb materials.  

Sumisip Mayor Jul Adnan Hataman and Vice Mayor Gulam Boy Hataman met with the teachers and gave assurance on their security.

Saying the military willl not allow ”reign of terror” to prevent teachers from holding classes, Western Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said they would intensify security at schools.

“Schools will be secured in close coordination with school principals since there are certain regulations that prohibit us from staying in schools. But if the need arises we have to do it,” he said. 

Sobejana said the threats received by the teachers could only be a propaganda of the Abu Sayyaf, noting that the remaining bandits in Basilan are on the run and not capable to launch attacks. 

Sub-leader slain

Meanwhile, Arod Wahing, an Abu Sayyaf sub-leader tagged in the kidnapping of foreigners in Sulu was killed in an alleged encouniter with goverment troopers also in Basilan on Monday. 

Sobejana said Wahing, who was with the group of Radullan Sahiron, fired at police and military personnel serving a search warrant at his hideout.   

Wahing’s two companions, Nasser Jumadil and Jerry Ahang, were arrested.An M1 Garand rifle, a caliber .30 and an MK2 fragmentation grenade were recovered from the suspects.

The military said Wahing was behind the kidnapping of German couple Stefan Viktor Okonek and Henrike Dielen in Palawan in April 2014. The couple were freed after alleged payment of ransom amounting to P200 million.

Wahing was also tagged in the kidnapping of Dutch birdwatcher Ewold Horn, who was killed by his captors last May when he tried to escape after more than seven years in captivity. – With Jaime Laude

ABU SAYYAF DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
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