Thursday, July 13, 2017

AFP tightens mechanism to identify terrorists from civilians

From the Philippine information Agency (Jul 12): AFP tightens mechanism to identify terrorists from civilians

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has strengthened its process of determining gunmen from civilians in the Marawi battle area following reports that some ISIS-inspired terrorists are disguising as trapped civilians wanting to get out of the city.

LtCol Jo-ar Herrera, spokesperson of the 1st Infantry Division, said the AFP have instituted a mechanism to determine if escapees or survivors are involved in the hostilities.

Aside from the debriefing, Herrera said they are also collaborating with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on the conduct of paraffin tests.

The police force are also conducting series of investigations to determine the facts.

Herrera said they have identified some persons who were involved in the hostilities since they started their rescue operations for trapped civilians.

According to him, most of them were lured by money unaware of the extent of damage that will happen.

Herrera further said they already strengthened their cordon and defense posture as well as contained the area especially Lake Lanao to block the possible exits of the ISIS-inspired terrorists.

Meanwhile, Herrera appealed to Marawi residents to understand them if they are restricting civilians access to the city.

He said they are doing this to protect the civilians. "We intend to save more lives," he reiterated.

Amid the ongoing battle between the government troops and the ISIS-inspired terrorists, some residents want to return to their homes to get important documents and belongings.

Herrera said they are allowing access especially in cases of emergency or other humanitarian considerations. This is done in partnership with the city and the provincial government.

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