AFP: No reported presence of Maute group in Metro Manila
The Maute group has no reported presence in Metro Manila contrary to the claim of the Philippine National Police, the military said on Tuesday.
“I have consulted our people and staff from the intelligence community and the information they provided that so far as the Armed Forces of the Philippines is concerned, wala tayong na-monitor na merong members ng Maute group sa Metro Manila (we have not monitored any members of the Maute group in Metro Manila,” AFP public affairs chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
This was after the PNP disclosed that one of the suspects involved in a foiled bombing attempt near the US Embassy was arrested on Monday in Quezon City.
Nasip Sarip Ibrahim was said to have been providing safe haven to other members of the Lanao-based Maute group in Salam Compound in Brgy. Culiat.
“We would like to defer kung ano ang kanilang naging basehan o basis ng kanilang report or the statement na merong Maute dito sa Metro Manila,” Arevalo said.
(We would like to defer on what the basis of their report or the statement that there is Maute here in Metro Manila.)
While the military claims they have not monitored any presence of the terror group in Metro Manila, Arevalo reminded the public to be vigilant.
“’Yung presence wala pero ‘yung threat always kino-consider pa rin natin lagi, ayaw nating i-put ang guards natin down (There is no presence but the threat is something we always consider, we don’t want to put our guards down). We would like to assume that there is a threat for us to be prepared and for us to be ready to arrest any eventuality na maaring mangayari,” he said.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said they are coordinating with the PNP for details and assured the public that they are prepared “in the event of any contingency.”
“Your AFP is always proactively engaged to negate terrorists’ efforts. The public should also go on with their normal activities and must not allow such information to derail them from their normal routine,” he said. JE/rga
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