Militants holding out in Philippine town face 'paralyzed' logistics: army

In Davao City, Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom) Brigadier-General Gilbert I. Gapay said they are now investigating how Cayamora Maute, the father of Maute leaders Abdullah and Omar and himself in the wanted list, managed to leave Marawi City and travel all the way to Davao City, where he was arrested Tuesday.

Padilla reiterated that the security situation in the besieged city would soon normalize as the offensive attacks of Maute group members dwindle.

The fighting in Marawi City began on May 23 when hundreds of militants went on a rampage after government forces attempted to arrest a local Islamic State leader.

Two weeks have passed since the martial law proclamation in Mindanao.

For his part, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said it is up to the Department of Interior and Local Government to study whether the local government unit should bear some liability for the terrorists' penetration of Marawi City.

"As the patriarch of the Maute clan, Mr. Cayamora Maute is considered as one of the brains of the Maute-ISIS terror group", Gapay said.

More than 190 people, including 134 militants, eight of whom were foreigners, have been killed in the violence, the military said.

"The endgame is to have them arrested if we can arrest them".

Earlier reports claimed that Hapilon managed to elude military forces out to neutralize him and his fellow terrorists in Marawi City.

"The acts of the Maute Group, the Abu Sayyaf, and their ilk show that they are unfortunate reincarnations of the Khawarij - they who recite the Quran but the words do not pass beyond their throats, and who leave the religion as an arrow leaves its target and do not return as the arrow does not return to its bow", he said.

"The announcement of Major General Rolando Bautista, head of Task Force Marawi, is that it's not true".

With their ability to fight "degraded", some of the militants have fled, military spokesman Restituto Padilla said in a radio interview, adding that nine had surrendered and were providing "good intelligence".

"Our troops are working and working overtime to facilitate the liberation of Marawi at the quickest time that we can", Padilla said.

Meantime, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman decried an online video of suspected Maute Group members desecrating the place of worship of the St. Mary's Cathedral in Marawi City.

"Based on the initial inquiries we have, there are some inconsistencies (in their) stories. and this is the object of the ongoing investigation to really ascertain if they are telling the truth".

"We will not allow any lawless activities to prosper again".

  • Joanne Flowers