ISLAMIC State (IS) terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon offered millions of pesos to anyone who could help him, his family, and his members escape from the main battle area in Marawi City, Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Año said on Wednesday.
“That was the main plan of Hapilon, to escape from the main battle area along with his remaining members and his family. In fact, he even offered that he will pay millions [of pesos]to anyone who can provide him a banca and that can guide them out from the main battle area,” Año said in an interview over Radyo Singko.
But Año said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) vowed to get Hapilon dead or alive with the help of rescued hostages who pinpointed the main location of Hapilon and Maute leader Omarkhayam Maute.
Maute, Hapilon and seven other terrorists were killed in a pre-dawn assault on Monday by the Philippine Army 8th Scout Rangers and Light Reaction Commands that lasted for four hours.
Año said it was the hostages who confirmed the main building where Hapilon was hiding from state forces, “which is why this has been the focus of our previous operations.”
President Rodrigo Duterte declared on Tuesday that Marawi City was liberated from the terrorists but Año said there were remaining “stragglers” inside the battle zone, who were now the subjects of a manhunt, along with 18 more hostages.
“But I can say that these stragglers are no longer threats since they are on their own now and surviving that is why we will not stop until we get these remaining stragglers,” he said.