ZAMBOANGA CITY-– Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) condemned the Maute group for the atrocities that flared up in Marawi City Tuesday afternoon.
“Words might seem useless right now, as no words can express what we feel as we share in the fear and anger of our people. We strongly condemn these acts of terror committed against the people of Marawi City and swear to take immediate action as necessary,” he said in a statement.
The Western Mindanao Command said the combined raiding team from the military and police launched an operation to capture Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and members of the Maute terror group in Marawi City at around 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Hataman said the attackers should be ashamed since “Marawi City is known as the Philippines’ Islamic City and is home to people of different histories and different beliefs.”
“That these acts of terror are happening in a diverse community bound by mutual respect and a shared commitment to peace is a travesty,” he said.
“Any group who sows terror and then dares to say that they do it in the name of Islam should be ashamed. Any man who claims to fight for a just cause, yet dares to incite violence a few days before the Holy Month of Ramadhan is a monster whose words belie his actions,” he said.
“The regional government stands in solidarity with the city of Marawi in these dark times. We have won many struggles together and we will stop at nothing to bring these terrorists to justice and win back the peace in your beloved city and in the Bangsamoro,” he added.
Hataman issued the statement before President Rodrigo Duterte, who is in Russia for an official visit, declared martial law in Mindanao for 60 days.