AN OFFICIAL of the Police Regional Office (PRO) in Northern Mindanao is urging the public to report any information on the eight alleged members of a local terror group who escaped from the Lanao del Sur Provincial Jail in Marawi City, on Saturday afternoon, August 27.
Police Superintendent Surki Sereñas, PRO-Northern Mindanao spokesperson, said state security forces are conducting hot pursuit operations against the eight fugitives affiliated with the Isis-inspired Maute Group who were sprung from jail by some 50 other group members around 5:40 p.m., on Saturday, August 27.
Sereñas released mugshots of the eight, identified as Hashim Balawag Maute, Abdul Jabbar Tominaman Macabading, Jamil Batoa Amerul, Muhammad Sianodin Mulo, Omar Khalil, Hafidah Romato Maute, Norhanna Maute and Nasifa Pundug.
He also identified the 15 other escapees: Alawiya Mimbisa, Daud Basari, Saidamin Malna, Muamar Mocsir, Asnawi Manabilang, Danny Abdul Wahab Manabilang, PFC Harry Gamelo, Cardawi Batugan, Aradine Manambilang, Rafsan Macaumbos Salik, Alinor Macaundas, Akil Binong, Rayan Dipatuan Alug, Hasim Bantuas Amatonding, and Abulais Sarangani.
Sereñas said the group is also known to be using eight vehicles: a Mitsubishi Montero (UCI 725), a black Isuzu Dmax (NIR 518), Toyota Innova with temporary plate 130102, and five Toyota Fortuners with plate numbers TQL 601, UIO 713, TDQ 440, TQB 689 and TOD 531.
PRO-Northern Mindanao regional director Chief Superintendent Noel Constantino has ordered all PNP units to intensify and strengthen the conduct of checkpoints and intelligence monitoring to thwart the entry of the Maute group in the region.
"These escapees pose serious threat to public safety and must be prevented from sowing further terror. Rest assured your PNP is doing our best in coordination with the AFP and other government agencies to neutralize this terror group in this part of Mindanao," Constantino said.
Lanao del Sur provincial director Police Senior Superintendent Agustine Tello likewise said they have received reports that the fugitives and their cohorts have already rejoined the bigger group based in Butig town after they reportedly crossed Lake Lanao.
Tello also belied reports that the PNP supposedly received a warning a day before the raid not to interfere as the Maute group considers only the military as its target.
"So far wala pa kaming na receive peru hindi talaga pwede yan. Once they have violated the law they (Maute group) will always be the target of police and military operations and they have to answer for their unlawful act,” Tello said.
Army Colonel Roseller Murillo of the Army's 103rd Brigade said they are prepared to assist the police recapture the fugitives.
"We have done our part and after the inquest proceedings in the court it was then under the police authority and jurisdiction and suspects were turned-over to the Provincial Jaill," Murillo said.
"The military is always prepared to assist the PNP in the manhunt operations against the 23 escapees particularly the Maute local terrorist group,” Murillo said.