MANILA–While still to validate the presence of the Maute Group in Metro Manila, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said that it cannot discount the possibility that the lawless group might conduct diversionary attacks to stymied the ongoing focused military operations against the bandits in Lanao Del Sur.
“Our focus for now is on coordination (so) we could arrest other members of the group. We cannot (just) discount the possibility of the Maute Group or any of their cohorts out there, to conduct diversionary attacks in Metro Manila and other key cities for that matter, (to disrupt ongoing focused military operations against them),” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said in Filipino Wednesday.
He added the arrest of alleged Maute Group member Nasip Ibrahim, 35, married, a native of Marawi City and presently residing at No. 31-Libyan St., Salaam Compound, Barangay Culiat, Quezon City Monday night, bolsters the country’s fight against terrorism.
Arevalo also reiterated the AFP is still validating reports from the Philippine National Police (PNP) that the Maute Group has already infiltrated in Metro Manila.
“We are still validating that particular report,” he added, stressing that the PNP has its own basis in coming out with that declaration.
“They have at hand pertinent information at that time for them to make that conclusion, what we are saying now is that there is a possibility that this group will be there to conduct diversionary attacks and that is something that we are being prepared about,” the AFP official disclosed.