Over a thousand residents of Marogong, Lanao del Sur were forced to flee their homes over the weekend after threats of an attack from the Daulah Islamiyah following the apprehension of its members last week.
In a statement, Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. on Sunday confirmed the reports of the swift evacuation of 1,236 individuals (206 families) from Marogong to nearby towns to avoid being in the middle of the possible crossfire.
Adiong said the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and the local government of Marogong are contacting the villagers who have fled to different municipalities.
“The provincial government, the police, and the military are in control. We don’t want the displacement of our constituents in Marogong just like that. Our security authorities are on top of the situation,” Adiong said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines – Western Mindanao Command reported on May 27 that four alleged members of the militant group Daulah Islamiyah were arrested.
WesMinCom Public Information Chief Maj. Andrew Linao identified the four members as Abu Rasas, 18, a leader under Fajarudin Pumbaya Pangalian, the amir (ruler) of DI-Philippines; “Saidi”, 18, brother of DI-Lanao sub-leader Abu Sham; and two minors aged 16 and 14.
Linao said that Rasas is one of the key leaders under Fajarudin Pumbaya Pangalian alias Abu Zacariah, the Amir of DI-Philippines, while “Saidi” is the brother of DI-Lanao sub-leader known as Abu Sham.
Daulah Islamiyah has members who originally belonged to the Maute terror group that led the Marawi Siege in 2017.
As of 2022, police and military units have arrested a total of 32 Daulah Islamiyah members and supporters.
Meanwhile, soldiers killed 16 Daulah Islamiyah members in different military operations in Lanao Del Sur from June 2022 to March this year.
Maj. Gen. Antonio Nafarrete, 1st Infantry Division commander, said Saturday the four were arrested by troops of the 32nd Infantry Battalion in Barangay Pabrika, Marugong town on Thursday night.
Seized from their possession were firearms, explosives, and ammunition, including grenade launchers.
Lt. Gen. Roy Galido, Western Mindanao Command chief, commended the soldiers and credited the tip provided by the group of Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander Esmail Cosain.