• Palace on deaths of Maute, Hapilon: ‘Bravo to the armed forces’


    THE deaths of two Islamic State-linked local terrorist leaders is a victory against terrorism, a Palace official said Monday.

    “Bravo to the Armed Forces. This clear victory against terrorism proves that the Duterte administration is resolute in delivering on its promise of peace and prosperity to the people of Mindanao. President [Rodrigo] Duterte pushed on an unrelenting campaign to take back Marawi City through all means at his disposal,” Palace Communications Chief Martin Andanar said in a statement.

    Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon were killed in a military assault in Marawi City early Monday following a tip from a female hostage who escaped her Maute captors, defense and military officials announced.

    “We look forward to building Marawi from the ashes of conflict and ushering in a new era where people will benefit from a shared progress. We have a president who demonstrates day in and day out that he will spare nothing, for the good of our people,” Andanar said.

    The Marawi clash between government forces and the Maute erupted last May 23 as an arrest warant was being served on Hapilon, also considered the leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).

    Following the failed attempt by the government to arrest Hapilon, the Maute launched a series of attacks on Marawi by taking hostages, destroying communities, killing non-Muslims and fighting troops.

    President Duterte, who was on a state visit to Russia, cut short his trip and declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23. Congress extended this proclamation until the end of the year in a joint session last July. LLANESCA T. PANTI



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