SECURITY forces have declared a province and region-wide heightened alert even as the military and the police intensified a manhunt to recapture detainees who were freed by extremists in a daring raid on a local jail in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur on Saturday.
Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, on Monday said that while the matter is “police law enforcement,” the military is working with the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the pursuit and recapture of all the fugitives.
“We have given out a province-wide, region-wide red alert in cooperation with the police to ensure that there will be efforts to recapture them,” Padilla added.
He refused to say if there were fresh troops deployed to join the massive manhunt.
Late Saturday afternoon, about 50 heavily armed members of the Maute group that support the Islamic State raided the local jail in the southern city of Marawi and freed eight of their comrades who were arrested barely a week ago.
Fifteen other detainees, held for other serious offenses, escaped during the raid, provincial jail warden Acmad Tabao said.
“Security forces have been alerted to watch out and expedite the recapture of these local terrorists who have bolted jail,” Padilla said.