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Ex-Rizal cop probed for links to militants

By: Aaron B. Recuenco and Francis T. Wakefield

The Philippine National Police is investigating a former member of the Rizal police if he is tied to the Maute Group after his identification card was found in the battle zone in Marawi City.

PNP chief Director General Ronald M. dela Rosa said they have yet to determine if the former policeman is indeed now fighting with the Maute Group.

“We cannot confirm yet if he was the one holding the identification card before the confiscation. We cannot just conclude yet because some people may be holding his identification card,” said Dela Rosa. “At this point, we cannot still say that he is in the battle zone in Marawi City,” he added.

Dela Rosa said that based on their background check, the Rizal policeman was kicked out of the service in 2014 for being Absent Without Official Leave.

The discovery of the police ID fueled speculations that some policemen are fighting with Maute gunmen in Marawi.

Meanwhile, the chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Public Affairs Office said yesterday that the military leadership is no longer sending additional troops in Marawi as there is enough men to finish the job of liberating the city.

In a press briefing, Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo said there was an initial intention on the part of AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano to beef up the units deployed in Marawi but later decided not to push through with it.