ZAMBOANGA CITY – Fresh from inside Marawi comes disturbing narratives of looting, burglary and theft. An estimated P500 million worth of cash was reportedly looted/stolen by Maute/ASG rebels together with criminals in Marawi City according to revelations by hostages who successfully escaped and were later on rescued by government forces.
Seven hostages who were able to reach government forces two weeks ago, followed by another who escaped a few days later and by another two several days ago, made this disturbing revelations thus corroborating earlier information received by JTF Marawi HQ (Joint Task Force Marawi Headquarters).
All these hostages revealed that they were forced to convert to Islam or be killed. According to them, they were initially tasked to loot and steal from the houses/establishments for ammunition, firearms, cash, gold and jewelry.
They estimate that their group alone was able to loot/steal at least P500 million in cash not to include other items they have taken from households and business establishments.
They believe that the amount of cash and valuable items looted could be worth more as there were several other groups being forced by terrorists to loot and steal for them.
The rescued and escaped hostages said they were forced to loot and steal under duress and upon instruction and supervision of Maute/ASG rebels and local criminals gangs that joined the Mautes after being promised monetary rewards by the DAESH-inspired group.
The rescued individuals also revealed that they followed a daily routine looting-stealing schedule: morning 7 a.m.-11 a.m., return for lunch then back to looting-stealing after lunch, up to 3 p.m. and then back to their holding place. The looted items were brought to a central storage in a mosque and received by designated Maute members who were keeping a list for accounting.
It is believed there are countless other crimes being committed by the Maute/ASG rebels and criminal gangs while fighting is ongoing. More revelations and information were divulged by the rescued hostages, some of it awaiting validation.
JTF Marawi will share more information with the public as more of it comes in and as soon as these are ascertained. PNA