By Chito Chavez
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has assured that the country’s security forces are on top of the situation in Marawi City, stating that clearing operations are now being conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
DILG officer-in-charge (OIC) Catalino Cuy issued the assurance after handing out specific instructions to the PNP to work with the AFP in ensuring the protection of civilians, properties, and government facilities.
“We are closely coordinating with the AFP in ensuring the safety of the people of Marawi and Mindanaoans. In the meantime, people are advised to stay indoors and remain calm. Those who may opt to evacuate should do so with caution and in coordination with their local officials,” Cuy said.
Reports said that some residents have chosen to leave for ‘safer grounds’ outside the city.
Cuy is in direct contact with PNP Deputy Director Gen. Ramon C. Apolinario as they work together for updates from the ground, especially on the wounded police and military personnel and men in uniform who had been killed in the initial firefight last Tuesday, May 23, 2017.
“As part of our newly given mandate at the DILG to look after our police and military, we exert extra efforts to know how our men are doing, especially during these difficult times,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cuy said he was thankful that no jail officer was hurt when about 50 heavily armed Maute group barged into the Marawi City Jail and Malabang District Jail and freed 107 inmates Tuesday evening,
According to the report he received, members of Maute group entered the jail compounds, disarmed and tied up the 12 jail officers, destroyed the jail’s padlocks, and let all the inmates out from their cells.
The armed men also carted away firearms of the BJMP personnel, two SUVs, two motorcycles and mobile phones owned by the jail guards on duty.
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