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5月31日のまにら新聞から

Palace asks Maute remnants to surrender

[ 377 words|2017.5.31|英字 (English) ]

Malacanang urged on Tuesday remnants of the Islamic State-linked Maute Terror Group to surrender to lessen the casualties, including civilians.

"We call on the remaining terrorists to surrender while there is an opportunity," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing.

If the terrorists would give up, the damage on the ground would be lessened, "civilians will be less affected," he said.

Last Sunday, eight members of Maute-ISIS group in Marawi City surrendered, a military official said Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Custodio Parcon, Philippine Marine Ready Force, Joint Task Force Tiger Commander that covers the military operation in some parts of Marawi City said eight terrorist members surrendered to them “two days ago”.

Parcon said based on his estimate less than 50 terrorist group members remain in his area.

“Here in the area of Marines, there are sporadic (firefight). They did not commensurate to the combat power of our soldiers. They keep on running. Then we hit them, then they will run again. We hit them hard, but we are very careful,” he said.

“They have so-called engagement areas where when you enter there. Then they have enough combat power. They might overpower us, so we are avoiding that kind of situation,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said he was ready to talk with the Maute members.

Abella said Duterte has "opened the doors" by expressing his willingness to dialogue with the militants.

"As we can very well see the way he has run his Cabinet, it’s from left to right, right to left, top to bottom, in other words, he’s very, very open to dialogue. His sincerity regarding the matter should not be questioned," Abella said.

The Maute militants could always "find a way" through "back channel" if they are ready to talk with the President despite the ongoing military offensive operations against them in Marawi, he said.

Asked on the government's policy not to negotiate with the terrorists, Abella said, "Not to negotiate with terrorists? Definitely."

As of May 29, over a hundred people, including civilians, have died in the clashes between the government troops and Maute since the problem in Marawi started on May 23.

Of those killed, 19 were civilians, 20 government troopers, and 65 Maute members, Abella said. Celerina Monte, Robina Asido/DMS