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Palace denounces possible Maute use of hostages as suicide bombers

The Palace has denounced the possible use of hostages as suicide bombers by the Maute group as desperate actions which apparently are carefully calculated to create violent reaction from the general populace and tension between ethnic groups, which the terrorist groups expect to work in favor of their cause,Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella said in a press briefing recently.

Abella however assured the people that government forces will continue to abide by the rules of engagement to ensure the safety of hostages particularly women and children in efforts to clear Marawi of all armed elements.

In the same press briefing, AFP Spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr. said local executives and religious leaders gathered in Iligan City to discuss the rehabilitation of the city.

“We are looking forward to the formalization of the commitment of 41 local executives in denouncing and providing a resolution — a joint resolution against the extremism, radicalism — violent extremist and radicalism, which is actually targeted at potential efforts of the current rebel groups inside Marawi from building back again or rising again,” said Padilla.

The military wants to see a resolution within the week, Padilla said as he added that the move is a very positive step towards inoculating Marawi from violent extremism as well as building it back better.

Padilla also belied reports that soldiers are involved in looting and murder, advising the public not to believe the false news being circulated.

Reports saying that the conflict in Marawi is aimed at taking back people’s land to be part of a military reservation is also not true, according to Padilla.

After the transition, the Task Force shall realign the clusters to the different sub-committees of the Task Force under Administrative Order 3. Yano made an assurance that various sectors will continue to work together towards rebuilding Marawi City and other affected areas, according to Purisima.

The DSWD has provided more than P210 million worth of food and non-food items to its response clusters and field offices responding to the Marawi conflict.

For the cost of assistance, the DSWD, OCD, DOH, LGU, and international and non-government organization have released more than P286 million worth of support to the affected families. (PND)