Philippine Military: Maute terror group may have entered the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, possibly spreading the conflict area

Black smoke from air strikes fills the sky as fighting continues in Marawi city, southern Philippines Friday, June 9, 2017. It’s unclear how many people remain trapped in Marawi as government troops battle Muslim militants led by the so-called “Maute” group but army officers have put the figure this week at anywhere from 150 to 1,000. AP/Aaron Favila
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MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Friday admitted that some members of the Maute terror group may have entered the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.

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Image result for Iligan , Cagayan de Oro, marawi, map

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said that heightened security measures are now enforced in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro to ensure the safety of the communities.

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“Hindi po natin dinede-deny na maaaring mayroong iilan na nakalusot sa patuloy na pag-alis ng ilang evacuees sa Marawi papunta sa ibang lugar katulad ng Iligan at Cagayan de Oro. Itong mga indibidwal na ito maaaring nakalusot at hindi sila na-proseso at nakita na maaring naging myembro,” Padilla said in a press briefing at Malacañang.

The military called on the citizens of the two cities to increase security posture by being vigilant, alert and watchful of their surroundings.

The residents of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro are advised to get the attention of authorities if they see suspicious looking characters or if there are items unnecessarily left in any place.

“May angkop po tayong inilatag na security para po sa mga lugar na ‘yan at patuloy pong isinasagawa ‘yan kaya po ang atin pong abiso sa lahat lalo na po sa ating mga mamamayan sa Cagayan De Oro at saka sa Iligan ay ipagpaumanhin nyo na po ‘yung pagkaantala n’yo sa mga checkpoint,” Padilla said.

The AFP has coordinated with local government units and other partners to heighten the security in the two cities.

Padilla added that the siege in Marawi will not happen to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.

“They (Maute) don’t have the capacity to do what they did in Marawi anymore. Their capabilities have been significantly degraded and they have specifically targeted Marawi to sow terror, wreak havoc, possibly kidnap people, destroy homes, schools… and that is exactly what they did,” the military spokesman said.

Padilla said the military is taking proactive measures to ensure that an attempt to sow terror in such areas will be prevented.

“Any kind of action of that extent will not happen in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro,” Padilla said.

On May 23, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law and suspended the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao following a clash between government forces and the Maute terror group.

RELATED: 100 bodies may still be in Marawi combat areas — crisis management exec

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/06/16/1710630/security-beefed-over-possible-maute-presence-iligan-cagayan-de-oro

Related:

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AFP vows to stop Maute from terrorizing nearby areas

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By: – Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 02:04 PM June 16, 2017
AFP: Maute capabilities have been degraded
News

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday said the capability of the Maute terrorists has “significantly been degraded” as it assured the public there won’t be a spillover of the Marawi conflict.

“Their capabilities have been significantly degraded, and they have specifically targeted Marawi to sow terror, wreak havoc, possibly kidnap people, destroy homes, schools, what have you. And that’s what exactly they did,” Brig. Gen. Resituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, said in a Palace briefing.

Padilla admitted there could be members of the Maute Group who might have escaped government security and have gone to Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro.

“Kung may miyembro na ng Maute na nasa Iligan, hindi po natin dine-deny na maaaring merong iilan na nakalusot sa patuloy na pag-alis ng ilang mga evacuees sa Marawi papunta sa ibang karatig lugar tulad ng Iligan at Cagayan de Oro,” he said.

(If there are Maute members who are already in Iligan, we will not deny that they may have escaped amid the ongoing evacuation of residents from Marawi toward other places such as Iligan and Cagayan de Oro.)

“So itong mga indibidwal na ‘to, maaaring nakalusot at hindi sila naproseso at nakita na maaaring naging miyembro,” he added.

(These individuals might have escaped and authorities failed to properly identify them as Maute members.)

Asked whether the Maute terrorists could also launch attacks in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro, Padilla said they no longer have the capacity.

READ: Gov’t forces close in on terrorists

“Safe to say, I can tell you, they don’t have the capacity to do what they did in Marawi anymore,” he said.

The military, he said, was “taking proactive measures” to prevent terroristic acts in the region.

“So any kind of action of that extent will not happen in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro. And we are taking up proactive measures to ensure that even an attempt to sow some confusion, to sow terror in these areas by small actions will be prevented,” he said.

Padilla urged the public to cooperate with the government in monitoring suspicious persons in their areas.

“And again, I would like to emphasize, even if I sound like a broken record, that every citizen should be part and should be responsible for watching over their surroundings and cooperating with government on that matter,” he said. IDL/rga

Inquirer calls for support for the victims in Marawi City

Responding to appeals for help, the Philippine Daily Inquirer is extending its relief to victims of the attacks in Marawi City

Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860.

Inquiries may be addressed to Inquirer’s Corporate Affairs office through Connie Kalagayan at 897-4426, ckalagayan@inquirer.com.ph and Bianca Kasilag-Macahilig at 897-8808 local 352, bkasilag@inquirer.com.ph.

For donation from overseas:

Inquirer Foundation Corp account:

Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860

Swift Code: BNORPHMM

Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/906086/it-stops-in-marawi-afp-vows-to-stop-maute-from-terrorizing-nearby-areas#ixzz4k9Gg5OGi
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