AFP: No premature declaration of liberation in Marawi | Inquirer News
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AFP: No premature declaration of liberation in Marawi

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 01:00 PM November 03, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) insisted Friday that there was no premature declaration of Marawi City’s liberation from terrorists despite the presence of a small number of stragglers in the war-torn city.

Major Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, said there were about 36 stragglers in Marawi based on the account of an Indonesian terrorist arrested on Wednesday in the battle area.

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READ: Indonesian with alleged IS ties nabbed in Marawi

“We don’t have the exact numbers but based on the revelation of this last foreign national that was captured, he mentioned about 36. But we are still validating that number because there are about three buildings here that seem to house them and that’s on the process of being checked,” Padilla said during the Bangon Marawi briefing in Malacañang.

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But Padilla said the stragglers in Marawi have no bearing to the security in the area as he insisted that the liberation of Marawi was not premature.

Duterte declared Marawi free from terrorist on October 17 after of five months of clashes between government forces and Islamic State-inspired Maute group.

READ: Marawi ‘liberated’ from terrorists but battle drags on

“Yung deklarasyon ng liberation ay noong punto na wala na itong bearing. Yung mga naiiwan diyan na stragglers, (The declaration of liberation came when [the infightings] have no more bearings. The stragglers who were left in the area), they are leaderless, they have no direction, they are merely fighting for survival. They have no impact on the overall security of the place,” Padilla said.

He said the military continues to restrict civilians to return to some parts of the city for their safety.

“The reason why we’re trying to restrict that area is to ensure that not one of these terrorists maybe able to escape because one terrorist who is able to escape has the potential to inflict harm on many of our nationals,” he said. /jpv

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TAGS: AFP, Marawi, Padilla, stragglers
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