GOVERNMENT forces have recovered 30 assorted high-powered firearms believed to have been abandoned by the Daesh-inspired Maute group in the last hour of fighting in Marawi City, the military reported on Monday, November 13.
The firearms were recovered around 7 a.m., Sunday, November 12, 21 days after the government has declared the liberation of Marawi City from the Maute group as clearing operations continue in the city.
The government declared on October 23 that Marawi City has been liberated days after Omar Maute, the leader of the Maute group, and Isnilon Hapilon died in firefight.
The two terrorist leaders were killed in an intense fighting when government troops spotted them in the morning of October 16 in Marawi City’s main battle area.
Brigadier General Roseller Murillo, Army’s 1st Infantry Division commander, said the firearms were recovered at the lake area in front of one of the buildings that served as the last position of the Maute group in the village of Marinaut, Marawi City.
Murillo said recovered submerged were the following: one caliber 50 machine gun; three M-60 machine guns; 12 M-14 rifles; four caliber .50 sniper rifles; two AK-47 rifles; two carbine rifles; three FAL rifles; one M-79 grenade launcher; and, two M-16 Armalite rifles.
The recovery came after four scuba divers from the Naval Forces Western Mindanao were deployed to assist in the clearing operations in Marawi City.
“More search and clearing operations are underway. The recovered armaments are now in our custody while proper documentation and labeling are being undertaken by our troops,” Murillo said.
Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., Western Mindanao Command chief, said the recovery will bolster intelligence efforts to search for other armaments the the terrorists could have abandoned.
“The likelihood that there could be more hidden armaments is very high,” Galvez said as he congratulated the soldiers for the recovery of the high-powered guns.
He, meanwhile, said the Joint Task Force Ranao is also conducting sustained security operations outside the former main battle area of Marawi City to pursue other allied terrorist groups particularly towards southern portion of Lanao del Sur. (SunStar Philippines)