Military vows intensified manhunt against Maute rebels

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday, July 5, assured that its members are striving to hunt down individuals involved in the ongoing rebellion in Marawi City.

“We are doing our best to locate all these individuals in the arrest orders,” AFP Spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr. said during the Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañan.

Padilla said most of the arrested individuals have already been charged in court. He also noted that several arrests have been made recently.

“So the manhunt is continuous. It does not involve the areas of Mindanao only, it is also all over the archipelago,” he said.

The AFP official said all the piers, ports, and airports are guarded by security forces and identities of personnel are strictly checked.

At the same time, Padilla called on the public to inform government authorities on information about individuals who may be supportive of the rebellion.

Padilla said the progress of military’s operations in the Islamic City remain “very positive.”

He, however, noted that challenges for the government troops includes their fight to retake many of the buildings in the remaining four barangays.

“And that is why our troops continually are engaged the whole day as they make their way inside the interior areas of these barangays,” he said.

Agencies agree on early recovery phase for Marawi City

Padilla said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who heads the Task Force Bangon Marawi, met on Tuesday the full council of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and discussed the need to start the early recovery of Marawi City.

“It was considered and it was agreed to that an early recovery phase would be conducted. And the early recovery phase involves helping those evacuees who are now in temporary shelters relocated to a resettlement area that would more or less provide better conditions for their stay,” the AFP Spokesperson said.

He said the national, provincial and the local government gave assurance that the preparation of the ground area for the selected resettlement area for our evacuees has already started.

According to Padilla, the area has been selected and the ground works will be starting this week.

During the same briefing, Presidential Communications Operations Office Director Omar Alexander Romero said the government troops has recovered Dansalan College, a former stronghold of the Maute group.

As of July 3, 2,911,540.98 has been donated for government casualties while 717,530.71 for internally displaced persons.

There have also been 1,722 civilians rescued while 39 civilians and 85 government troops have been killed by terrorists.

Government forces have killed 343 terrorists and recovered 420 high-powered firearms.###PND