SAYING the Maute terror group is now “fighting for survival,” the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) urged them to “come to their senses” and surrender to authorities.
“In this manner, we will be able to reduce the increasing loss of innocent lives and damage to properties and to lessen the crimes they (Maute) have been committing,” AFP spokesperson Restituto Padilla told a press briefing in Manila yesterday.
He said that the group is resorting to propaganda since they are now “trapped and contained.”
The AFP cited the video of abducted priest Teresito Suganob who pleaded with the military to stop its offensive against the Maute. The AFP believed Suganob was forced by the terrorists to make the video.
In the viral video, Suganob pleaded with the military to stop its offensive against the Maute for the safety of the hostages.
While the video seemed authentic, Padilla said that the message and the reasons for coming out in the video are apparently for propaganda purposes.
He said the government troops already controlled 90 percent of the city, while about 10 percent is being guarded and heavily protected by Matute group.
As of May 30, the government troops rescued 960 civilians. Some 89 terrorists were killed and 19 civilians dead in the ongoing clash. At least 91 firearms were recovered from Maute.