Hostages in the Islamic City of Marawi, who have managed to escape from their captors, the terrorist Maute Group who are still locked in a violent standoff with the military, revealed that the terrorists had hinted they were going to be used, not just as human shields, but as suicide human bombs against the government security forces.
According to some of the former hostages, the terrorists were apparently planning to strap explosives to the captive non-combatants to blow up the ranks of the soldiers, which prompted a stern condemnation from Malacañang.
“We strongly denounce these desperate actions, which are calculated to create violent reaction from the general populace,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella.
Meanwhile, the Roman Catholic priest, Fr. Chito Suganob, is reported to be still alive and apparently being ordered to gather and repack black powder from pyrotechnic devices and firecrackers for use in putting together improvised explosive devices for use by the terrorists.
The military said it is tightly enforcing the security cordon around Marawi to prevent possible entry by the enemy’s reinforcing elements. Lt. Col. Resituto Padilla, Spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said: “We have laid down plans and forces to cover all avenues of approach, and we are confident that what we have is more than enough.”
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