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Bato: Metro Manila safe from Maute terror group

By: FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa yesterday assured the public that Metro Manila is safe from Daesh-ISIS inspired Maute Group.

Dela Rosa made the assurance during an interview at the Manila Bulletin Hot Seat.

During the interview, Dela Rosa said that they have not monitored yet the presence of members of the terrorist group despite the possibility that some of them might have slipped out of Marawi City.

“Hindi naman ibig sabihin (kung sakaling) andito sila eh hindi na safe ang Metro Manila,” Dela Rosa said.

“Pero wala kaming namomo-monitor na andito sila. Safe tayo dito. Walang dapat ipag-alala mga tao,” he added.

Dela Rosa, however, stressed that they are not taking any chances, the reason why the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), which is in charge of securing Metro Manila, is on red alert status.

“We have intensified the security especially at the camp of the NCRPO as some members of the Maute family are detained there at Camp Bagong Diwa. We are really guarding them,” Dela Rosa said.

“We take no chances na may mangyari pa dito na sa Metro Manila,” he added.

Dela Rosa did not discount the possibility that Mohammad Noaim Maute might have escaped Marawi City by blending in with other evacuees who escaped the war-torn city.

“Because we have intelligence reports that indicate that some withdraw via Lake Lanao. They then went to Waud, Lanao del Sur, umakyat ng Bukidnon then bumaba sa Cagayan de Oro,” he added.

To ensure that no other Maute members would escape, Dela Rosa said members of the PNP Special Action Force (SAF) were deployed to seal of the area.

The PNP is helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) defeat the enemy.

Dela Rosa said aside from the special forces, policemen from PRO-10 and members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) of ARMM, and Police Regional Office (PRO) 10 and 12 are there to provide “force support” to military troops on the ground.

Dela Rosa also said that there are raw reports stating that some Maute members are already in Iligan City, but they are still verifying this information.

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