Julita Cenabre was trembling in fear as she was holding on to their three-month-old granddaughter at the elementary school in Barangay Kawayan, Inabanga town, Bohol.
Although the police and the military suspected the armed men belonged to ASG, some residents in Napo said the group may be part of the Maute group from Mindanao.
Marina Melloria, 51, said her cousin, Joselito, married a woman from Mindanao suspected of being a member of the Maute group.
Joselito was seen by a resident escorting a group of about 15 heavily armed men on Monday afternoon whom he described as his guests.
“Unsa na man na dong (Who are they?),” asked Roger Cellan, a resident of Sitio Ylaya, Barangay Napo when he saw Joselito passing by.
“Mga bisita nako (My visitors),” was Joselito’s reply.
Cellan said Joselito told him that they came from Jolo, Sulu and traveled to Bohol province on board their pump boats.
Like the other neighbors, Cellan became uneasy with the presence of armed men in their community.
At least 600 residents were taking shelter at the elementary school in Barangay Kawayan while another 600 residents were at the chapel in Barangay Banahao.
“We had not experienced this before. We were all scared,” said a resident who declined to be identified.
At least three pump boats loaded with armed men were seen entering the Inabanga River that leads to Napo River, an interior village about 10 km from the national highway.
Other towns can be accessed through Barangay Napo. These are the municipalities of Danao, Buenavista, Dagohoy and Carmen.
Jose Genosas was hauling sand and gravel from Napo River on Monday afternoon when he noticed three motorbancas passing by.