MANILA — The military is inclined to believe that there are no more Maute Group stragglers remaining in the environs of war-torn Marawi City.
This was bared by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief, Col. Edgard Arevalo, in a briefing Thursday.
And per reports coming from Task Force Ranao deputy commander, Col. Romeo Brawner, he said that it is very possible that the remaining terrorists have been killed or neutralized by government troops.
A good indication of this is the lack of gunfire meeting government forces conducting clearing works and damage assessments, Arevalo said.
A total of 920 Maute Group terrorists were killed in the five-month battle to liberate the Marawi City. Fighting started May 23 and ended on Oct. 23.
Twelve more Maute Group remnants were also killed in the ongoing clearing operations in the main battle area, days after heavy combat operations were terminated.
With this development, Arevalo is urging the remaining terrorists, if indeed there are any left, to just surrender peacefully as further resistance is futile as the AFP will not allow terrorism to take root in the Philippines.
He added that those who would continue to resist would be dealt harshly like their companions who insisted in fighting it out with government troops. PNA-northboundasia.com