The Maute terrorist group continues to occupy the Marawi City jail and the adjacent Malabang district jail, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said yesterday.
Despite the Maute occupation of the two jail facilities, BJMP spokesman Xavier Solda said this development should not cause fear or public panic as the jail personnel remain safe.
The families of the jail personnel had earlier appealed to President Duterte to instruct the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), BJMP, and other government forces to ensure the safety of their loved once. They also appealed for the flushing out of the terrorist group the soonest time possible to avoid the possibility of inflicting harm on the hostages.
In an exclusive interview, Solda said the BJMP has yet to enter the two jail facilities but assured that the jail personnel remain unharmed.
Solda said members of the Maute Group are mobile as they opt to move around and leave the two jail facilities from time to time while keeping the jail guards safe and sound.
Despite these assurances, the relatives, friends and immediate family members of the concerned jail personnel remain anxious and deeply concerned over the condition of their loved once, saying they haven’t seen them for several days.
Most of them have also complained that they have gone broke as their breadwinners are unable to provide for their daily needs.
Solda noted that BJMP chief Serafin Barretto will fly to war-torn Marawi City within the week to check on the condition of families of the trapped jail personnel.
Barretto, together with his team, will assess the amount of financial aid each family should receive as their situation differs from one another.
They will also check on other assistance that the BJMP may provide to the distressed families of the jail guards.
Solda stressed that the families of the jail personnel residing in Marawi City will be prioritized in the distribution of financial assistance.
Also, the BMJP spokesman said inmates who were set free by the terrorists sent feelers to the government, expressing their intention to surrender but only to Barretto. (CHITO CHAVEZ0