THE military on Tuesday announced the arrest of a Maute member who had been delivering firearms to the terrorists and squirreling out wounded fighters.
In a televised press briefing, Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesman for the military’s Joint Task Force Marawi, said that the man, who was not identified to reporters, was arrested while riding a banca in Lanao lake.
Herrera said the man’s arrest will cut off the supply of logistics to the Islamic State-linked group that has been battling government troops for more than a month.
“This is good news for our part because we blocked the (Maute) highway, which means that we have established a tighter defense in Lanao lake because of the capture of one Maute member who was bringing ammunitions to the main battle area and at the same time he was also bringing the wounded from the battle area going to Lanao lake,” Herrera said.
He said soldiers also cleared 39 more buildings in the city and rescued seven hostages.
“These hostages are having a debriefing right now. Troops continue to discover shabu and paraphernalia in the main battle areas,” Herrera added.
“Enemy resistance continues to wane and enemy held areas continue to diminish as government forces press its advance. Troops continue to get deeper,” he said.
The seven rescued hostages claimed to have seen Fr. Teresito Suganob. They said that they were ordered by the Maute to loot houses and find ammunition and firearms.
“[They] have normal looting schedules. You see? They have schedule from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., they will return for lunch then back to looting at 1500 (3 p.m.). Hostages were issued firearms, [the Maute]is forcing the hostages to bring firearms and to fight government security forces,” Herrera said.
The hostages were also forced to bring wounded terrorists to mosques.
Herrera said some women were also sexually abused by the terrorists.