Palace says getting Isnilon Hapilon “only a matter of time”
Malacanang on Sunday said it will only be a matter of time before the government security forces neutralize terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon.
"We will get Isnilon Hapilon," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
He said the government received numerous report that Hapilon has left Marawi and is now in Basilan.
The military and other security agencies of the government have yet to validate this raw report, he added.
"Granting Isnilon Hapilon's whereabouts in Basilan is true, it would mean that he chose to abandon his men as the battle of Marawi nears its final stretch," he said.
But Abella said recent military assessments indicate that "he is still very much in Marawi."
"Our forces are hot on their heels and it will only be a matter of time before we get him," he said.
Abella said the Palace also welcomes proposal for a higher financial aid for soldiers and policemen who could become permanently disabled after conducting combat operations.
"Senator Ralph Recto's move to grant P1-M (million) financial assistance to soldiers and policemen who are permanently disabled in the performance of their duty during combat or police operations is very encouraging," he said.
He said this effort is a much appreciated recognition of the heroism that the men and women in uniforom showed in the field of battle.
"We are hopeful that all would see the merit in Senator Recto's call," he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS