THE government has no plans to transfer members of the Maute family from their detention in Taguig City, despite threats from extremist forces to break them out.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lonrenzana said Monday they will instead beef up security in Camp Bagong Diwa to foil any attempted jail break.
“We won’t transfer them as there are no other areas where we can transfer them. All we have to do is reinforced [the police camp] with some of our troops so they won’t be attacked,” Lorenzana said in a briefing.
Lorenzana said an attempt at a jail break was “a big probability,” so he would ask the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology if it needed some help from the Armed Forces.
Earlier, BJMP Director Serafin Barretto Jr. said that are threats of a “rescue operation” for Cayamora Maute and his first wife Ominta Romato, alias Farhana, who are under BJMP custody in Taguig City.
Barretto said the couple, parents of the bandits who caused massive damage in Marawi, is being treated humanely.
On Sunday, AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Año said the Maute terrorists continued to hold about one to two square kilometers of Marawi City.
Año declined to say when the troops would be able to clear the city of the terrorists, but said the AFP is doing everything it can to neutralize the remaining Maute group remnants with the least number of casualties on the military and civilian side.
The AFP chief said 317 terrorists have been killed since fighting broke out in Marawi on May 23.
Military and police losses are placed at 82 and civilian dead are at 44.
At the same time, the military said the Abu Sayyaf Group has dwindled in size after suffering the loss of 97 fighters in various battles with government troops.
Col. Juvymax Uy, commander of Joint Task Force Basilan, said 67 terrorists were also arrested, while 98 surrendered.
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command, said the surrendered terrorists have been helping the military go after their former comrades.
Uy said elite forces captured another ASG member in Barangay Bohe Yawas, Lamitan City, Basilan Sunday.
The bandit was identified as Ismael Gampal.
“An M16 rifle and other war materiel including a battle dress uniform and a military back pack was recovered from him,” Uy said. With PNA, Florante S. Solmerin
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