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Tighter security

The Philippine National Police has implemented additional security measures to prevent foreign fighters from reinforcing the Maute Group gunmen trapped and battling security forces in Marawi City.

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, PNP chief, said he has instructed police commanders in Mindanao, particularly near Marawi, to ensure that nobody could sneak into the city.

“We are on the lookout, we are intensely guarding the borders so that no foreigners would be able to reinforce them,” said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said they are also on alert against Maute gunmen who might pose as evacuees to escape from Marawi. “Most of the evacuees are heading toward Iligan City and that is what we are tightly guarding,” said Dela Rosa.

He said Iligan City is just 35 kilometers away from Marawi and their effort to tightly guard Iligan is a move to ensure that no spillover of attacks would occur.

Dela Rosa also disclosed that six local policemen who were reported missing in Marawi are still alive but could not find their way out due to intense gun battle between government troops and the Maute Group.

He said he is continuously monitoring the situation of the six cops and there are strong indications that they are still alive. “As per our intelligence, they are trapped inside so I asked the local commanders there and they said they are still alive,” said Dela Rosa. (Aaron B. Recuenco)