From CNN Philippines (Jul 4): Mautes crumbling as a group, resorting to looting - AFP
On top of atrocities committed by the Mautes, the ISIS-inspired group has also resorted to plain criminal acts such as looting, theft and burglary, according to the military.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesperson for Joint Task Force Marawi, said on Monday the military has been receiving "disturbing narratives" from escaped hostages telling how civilians were made to loot houses and establishments for cash, gold, jewelry and ammunition.
"An estimated ₱500M worth of cash was reportedly looted/stolen by Maute/ASG rebels, together with criminals in Marawi City, according to revelations by hostages who successfully escaped and were later on rescued by govt forces," Hererra said in a statement.
According to the joint task force, the rescued individuals also revealed that they followed a daily routine of looting-stealing schedule: 7 a.m -11 a.m., return for lunch, then back to looting-stealing after lunch up to 3 p.m.
The looted items were brought to central storage in a mosque and received by designated Maute member, the military said.
Meanwhile, the military said the Maute fighters were no longer coordinated as as one of their leaders, Abdullah Maute, could not unite unite the group.
Herrera, in a separate interview, also said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has been getting reports that some of the terrorists wanted to surrender.
Surrender, he pointed out, was different from a negotiation — and the military would be open to any opportunity to end the hostilities.