The Daily Manila Shimbun


Authorities divided if Hapilon is still in Marawi City

June 9, 2017

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said authorities do not have confirmation on the report Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon left Marawi City. “We have no confirmation. We also got the report,” Lorenzana said in a text message to the Daily Manila Shimbun Friday.. But Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said t according to Major Gen. Rolando Bautista, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Division, Hapilon is still within Marawi City. “Maj. Gen. Bautista said he (Hapilon) is still here. Our assessment indicates he is there,” Padilla said. Lorenzana and Padilla give their response after a recent report said Hapilon is no longer in Marawi City despite the tight security by the authorities. The report claimed Hapilon might have attempted to go back in Marawi after leaving the city a few days ago. According to Presidential Communications Office (PCO), the number of fatalities on government side is at 45 while the last count of the AFP shows a total of 138 terrorist members were neutralized in Marawi City since fighting started in May 23. Meanwhile, more than 200 gunmen are still occupying the center of Marawi City in Lanao del Sur even as the military continued bombing their positions, a military spokesman said The air strikes started early Friday and around 10:30 am in areas where there are   members of Maute and Abu Sayyaf. Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera said brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute, leaders of ISIS inspired group, are inside Marawi using tunnels to provide logistical support and for their protection. "They are still inside commanding their men, " Herrera said. Herrera said 500 to 2000 civilians are trapped inside the war zone. (Robina Asido/DMS)