A TOTAL of 6,379 evacuees, who were displaced due to the ongoing terrorist attack and armed clashes perpetrated by the Maute Terror Group, are in different areas of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Easmincom) to seek refuge.
Brigadier General Gilbert Gapay, martial law spokesperson and deputy commander of Easmincom, said in their latest data, thousands have already sought evacuation in some of their areas in northern part of Mindanao.
He said there are 222 evacuees in Davao City while more than 100 are in General Santos City. The rest are scattered in other areas that are covered by the Easmincom.
Gapay said since the attack in Marawi on May 23, which prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao, they have enforced aggressive security operations on the ground to intercept possible spillover.
Since the declaration of martial law, a total of 2,651 checkpoint operations were conducted and about 1,082 security patrols were undertaken all over Eastern Mindanao.
Thus, resulting to the arrest of the Maute Group chief identified as Cayamora Maute, 67, during a regular checkpoint in Sirawan, Toril, Davao City. The alertness of the inspecting officer led to the arrest of the Maute clan's patriarch considered as a high value target.
Joint effort of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) resulted to the arrest of the alleged terrorist financer and supporter of Maute Group, former Marawi City Mayor Fahad Salic, on Wednesday at a checkpoint in Misamis Oriental. Fajad, however, denied the allegation.
Gapay added that the Easmincom personnel, with their proactive maritime patrols, have also responded to piracy incidents in Sarangani province wherein they apprehended two perpetrators.
Aside from the security operations of Easmincom, they have also initiated a humanitarian assistance to the affected residents of Marawi City who were affected by the fight between government sources and the Maute Group.
Gapay also assured the public that their action will be in accordance with the rule of law and in adherence to the human rights in implementing the security operations. They vowed to guarantee the safety and security of the public.