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Lanao mayors declare war against Maute terrorists

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All the mayors of Lanao del Sur Province have declared war against the Daesh-linked Maute terrorists, calling them as "Enemies of the Maranao People."

Maranao, a collective term referring to the people living around Lanao Lake, is one of indigenous Muslim groups native to the island of Mindanao in the southwestern part of the country.

Zia Alonto Adiong, a Maranao himself who was designated by President Rodrigo Duterte as spokesperson of the Lanao del Sur Crisis Management Committee, said all the 41 mayors of the province have signed a manifesto affirming that the Maute group is an enemy of the Maranao people.

According to Alonto, the manifesto also classifies the group as under Daulah Islamiyah or Islamic State, an international terrorist group.

He said the province's 40 towns and one city will strengthen the civilian security plan of barangays (villages) and mobilize religious leaders to issue a ruling declaring terrorism as a forbidden act.

"We will engage the Maute on all fronts. Mobilizing all sectors, stakeholders to combine our efforts to counter the spread of false teachings, radicalization of our youth and the  threat of terrorism," said Adiong.

He also said that local officials will work to strengthen the civilian security plan at the barangay (village) level, adding that all authorities in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are expressing their opposition to the group, which is still wreaking havoc in Marawi City.

The terror crisis in Marawi began May 23 following clashes between the Maute group and government forces, prompting President Duterte to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao.

Military rule stays in Mindanao until Dec. 31 this year after the Congress, voting jointly, granted Duterte's request for an extension to quell the rebellion.

Meanwhile, the military said a group of Maute terrorists have sneaked into Marawi City to reinforce remaining comrades fighting against government forces in the war zone.

The Maute reinforcement took advantage of heavy rains to creep into the battle zone, entering Marawi via the Lanao Lake at nighttime, and landing in an area in adjacent Marantao town, media reports said.

As this developed, government troops have braced for a reinforcement by Daesh-linked terrorists into Marawi as the war in the embattled city entered its 81st day on Saturday. Hader Glang




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