Key Philippine Military and Insurgency-Related Events
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Troopers not using poison bomb in Marawi
From the often pro-CPP online publication the Davao Today (Jun 20): Troopers not using poison bomb in Marawi
NO POISON BOMB . JTF Marawi spokesperson Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera (left) told reporters in a press conference at the Provincial Capitol in Marawi on Monday that government troopers are not using poison bomb during the ongoing military offensives against the members of Maute. Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey (right), commander of TF Ranao is also present during the press conference. (Alex D. Lopez/davaotoday.com)
MARAWI CITY, Philippines – The Joint Task Force Marawi said land and air forces of the Armed Forces of the Philippines involved in the continuing military offensives against the ISIS-linked Maute Group here do not use poison bombs.
This was clarified by JTF-Marawi spokesperson Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera in the midst of some reports that poisonous bombs might have been used by government forces in areas identified as strongholds of the subject terrorist group.
“We are guided by the rule of law. Our forces do not use poison bombs,” Herrera told reporters in a press briefing on Monday, June 19.
Efforts to drive away Maute members inside Marawi now run into four weeks, the military is still not certain when the offensives will finally flush out the said terror group from the city.
It is estimated that 100 to 120 Maute members are still holed up in four villages that are still considered as their stronghold.
Herrera said the members of Maute are also copying the tactics used by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, particularly on the utilization of rocket-propelled grenades and other high-powered firearms.
Ground troopers have also taken down drones believed to have been deployed by Maute to pinpoint locations of ground forces.
Herrera did not specify how many drones were already destroyed since the start of the Marawi siege.
Herrera also told reporters on Monday that the presence of a number of US forces in Marawi is just normal.
“The Philippines has existing mutual agreements with the US especially on defense,” he said.
But he also clarified that US forces are not involved in actual ground offensives inside Marawi.
“They have no direct participation in tactical operations. All the forces involved on the ground are Filipino soldiers,” he said.
The US troopers in Marawi, he added, only provide intelligence information, Herrera said.
Since Monday, June 19, a total of 257 Maute members were already killed while 250 high-powered firearms were also recovered by government troopers.