Sunday, June 11, 2017

Gov't forces pushing hard to combat Maute group in Marawi

From the Philippine Information Agency (Jun 11): Gov't forces pushing hard to combat Maute group in Marawi

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año said they are pushing hard to combat the Maute group in Marawi City.

This is a different kind of warfare. There are still a lot of civilians trapped inside the city,” he said in press briefing held today in Cagayan de Oro City.

Año emphasized that they wanted to spare the lives of the trapped civilians and minimize the destruction of properties,"

He gave assurance that the government has enough forces to fight the local terrorists.

They have been isolated in four barangays and we have sealed off their exit. We will be able to clear all barangays of Marawi, we are doing it deliberately and carefully, he further said.

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, on the other hand, said the arrest of the matriarch and patriarch of the Maute group has a huge impact saying it would help the government in putting an end to the armed conflict.

The matriarch, Onita Romato Maute a.k.a. Farhana, was apprehended at a safe house in Barangay Kormatan, Masiu, Lanao Del Sur on June 9 while the patriarch, Cayamora Maute, was recently arrested in a checkpoint in Davao City.

Lorenzana also disclosed that the number of terrorists in Marawi City has diminished with 191 confirmed dead.

One hundred fifty four (154) firearms were also seized by the government forces.

Meanwhile, local chief executives in Lanao del Sur met today and discussed measures to prevent lawless elements from penetrating other parts of the province which include strengthening of barangay peace action teams.

Lorenzana said he supports the idea. "Matapos ang gulo, we are going to organize them properly, train them, and give them firearms - to be controlled by the military, and they will be serving their towns and barangays" he said.

He also emphasized that they will carefully vet the people to ensure that they will not be giving arms to Maute supporters.

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