Marawi crisis in final stages says WESTMINCOM

Legazpi City (July 10, 2017) – An official of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) declared today that the Marawi crisis may finally be over in a few days.

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In a radio interview, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., commanding officer of the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM) announced that, as a matter of fact, the AFP is now focusing on the start of the rehabilitation efforts of the city.

Galvez claims that security forces have cornered Maute-led fighters in a sector of the eastern portion of Marawi and added that their number may now be down to about 80.

The general said that it won’t be long before these terrorists either surrender or are killed in the firefight.

He however admitted that although there are reports that about two or three of the Maute brothers have been slain, the remnants of the armed militants are still being led by members of the Maute family and by Abu Sayyaf Group Isnilon Hapilon.

Galvez also confirmed the presence of at least 11 Indonesian fighters in the group and other foreigners like Malaysians, Saudis and a Singaporean.

The officer disclosed that this goes to show that the attack on Marawi was well planned and that the operations gave the terrorists time to stack-up on ammunition and supplies.

He added that this theory was corroborated by a captured Maute fighter a few days back.

Meanwhile, Galvez also stated that while they had tactical reasons for the airstrikes, it was the eastern part of the city that bore the brunt of the aerial bombardment.

The general said that even before the siege, this part of Marawi has long been a sanctuary for militants who may have engaged in criminal activities.

This is also the part of the city, according to him, where the rebels are still holed up thus the need to flush them out with the airstrikes. (J. Garalde)

No soldiers killed in campaign vs. Maute – AFP

Legazpi City (Nov. 28, 2016) – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) belied reports that several soldiers have been killed over the weekend during the military operations against the Maute group in the province of Lanao.

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Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, the AFP’s spokesperson clarified that four soldiers were slightly wounded during the campaign and 11 were slain on the side of the terrorist group.

Padillla said that the four injured personnel are now recovering in a medical facility in the area.

The spokesperson also gave the assurance that the military unit involved in the actual operations has adequate artillery and air assets and is expecting that the fight would be over soon.

He pointed out that the Maute Group is just a small band of local terrorists operating in the Lanao, Maguindanao and Cotabato areas.

This group was established in the year 2000 and is presently led, according to Padilla, by brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute.

According to the general, the said siblings were educated in Egypt and were influenced by Islamic radicalism.

The group was known to have had connections with the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) but were now aligning themselves with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The military however dismissed this information saying that a small band like the Maute Group would claim alliance with any other notorious terrorist group for namesake.

Padilla also revealed that the group is believed to be responsible for the bombing in Davao City last August. (J. Garalde)