PNP chief confirms Maute Group has taken SAF armored personnel carrier
Director General Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), confirmed on Tuesday that members of Maute Group were able to seize one of the armored personnel carriers of the Special Action Force (SAF) in an ambush in Marawi City.
“That’s true. That’s one of the our objects of recovery,” De la Rosa said in an interview in Marawi City after addressing cops deployed in the strife-torn city.
This developed after a photo of three alleged Maute members posing on top of a tank believed to be owned by SAF circulated on social media.
De la Rosa explained that the Maute members were able to take the tank fell as the SAF commandos were hit by a landmine on their way to reinforce the troops in the capitol.
“Na-land mine sila. Na-ambush. Then nung in-ambush, nasira yung gulong ng isa. Naiwan sila. Nagkahiwalay. Noong nagkahiwalay, iba yung napuntahan ng isa hanggang sa nalaglag sa canal. Hindi na maka-maneuver. Wounded na yung mga crew kaya in-extricate yung crew,” De la Rosa said.
Officials in the SAF community told INQUIRER.net that two V-150 armored personnel carriers (APC) – named “Matapat” and “Masikap” – were supposed to go to the provincial capitol on the evening of May 23.
Upon exit from the Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office where the tanks were stored, Matapat and the crew inside it were hit by a landmine few meters away, wounding the tank’s driver, PO3 Jeffrey Mayos.
Sources added that the tank tried to maneuver its way out of the ambush site in Barangay Poona Marantao but Maute members kept firing at them.
The tank commander then decided to leave Matapat behind and extricate the wounded personnel to prevent more casualties. /atm
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