The Daily Manila Shimbun


Gov’t security forces still to account about 200 suspected terrorists, military says

October 27, 2017

The Philippine security forces have yet to account about 200 suspected terrorists who were included in the arrest orders issued by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as martial law administrator in Mindanao, an official said on Friday.

In the "Mindanao Hour" press briefing, Maj. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr. said of the about 300 names listed in the warrants of arrest, which Lorenzana issued days after the declaration of martial law on May 23, "there were only about a hundred, most likely more than a hundred who were arrested."

Authorities recently arrested in Metro Manila a woman allegedly helping in the recruitment of the terrorists, he said.

"So a big part of that list still remains at large. So remember, they still remain at large. So they still pose a threat," he said.

Of those arrested, Padilla said "about 60 plus only prosecute --- or filed cases in the court."

Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao shortly after the Islamic State-inspired terrorists stormed and occupied Marawi City on May 23.

Marawi was liberated from the terrorists last week after about five months of military operations.

Meanwhile, Padilla said the alleged mauling of a suspected terrorist by the soldiers as shown in the video that came out was being investigated.

But he said it was an "isolated case" as he explained why the government troops could have acted that way.

Padilla said what happened was not actually mauling as what was reported in the news.

"So he (suspected terrorist) was being taunted and some could not hide their emotions perhaps because he was believed to be part of the enemy who killed some of our soldiers. And we’re not sure yet when and how this came out. But and when it was taken. But what is certain there is we will need to launch an investigation to ascertain the veracity of this video, as well as ascertain who are involved," he said.

"The Armed Forces is very strict regarding the treatment of captives in a conflict situation. They are supposed to be decently treated and respected, and… which did not happen in this case," he said.

Padilla urged anyone who has similar video to delete it and not to upload on the Internet as this could be used by the terrorists to get sympathy from the public. Celerina Monte/DMS