MANILA — Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año on Tuesday announced that they are now validating reports that Omar Maute, one of the founders of the Maute Group, was killed during an air strike in Marawi City last May 28.
“We are still validating the report. (his alleged death by air strike) took place last May 28. The report is still not confirmed and we are still validating it. There is still the possibility that he is alive,” he added.
Omar, the brother of Abdullah Maute, was earlier reported killed in February 2016 during the military offensive against them and their cohorts in Butig, Lanao Del Sur.
Earlier, the AFP announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has offered a PHP20 million for any information that could lead to the neutralization of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon and the two Maute brothers.
The latter are the heads of the terror now being cornered by security forces in Marawi City.
A PHP10 million bounty is allotted for Hapilon and PHP5 million for each of the Maute brothers.
“The President is offering PHP10 million-reward money for the neutralization of Isnilon Hapilon who is believed to be leading the terrorist Maute-ISIS group in attacking Marawi City,” Año disclosed.
Fighting in Marawi City started last May 23 when government troops tried to arrest the wounded terrorist leader.
The amount is aside the USD5 million-bounty offered by the US government for Hapilon.
Hapilon, a senior leader of the Abu Sayyaf, has an outstanding warrant of arrest for kidnapping with ransom and serious illegal detention.
He also has a PHP7.4 million standing bounty from the Philippine government.