Auth: Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard A. Arevalo
The situation in Marawi has stabilized.
Security forces are in full control of the situation.
The armed men we are dealing with are not ISIS but members of Local Terrorist Group.
The news being circulated by these terrorists and their sympathizers are spurious and are meant to spread lies and disinformation. It is propaganda to attract foreign terrorists’ support and recognition.
The reported "eyewitness account" is untrue that Amai Pakpak Hospital has been occupied and the people there were held hostage.
The Marawi City Hall was not occupied as was earlier reported merely quoting "sources".
The sporadic firefights heard were harassment actions by terrorist sympathizers that were conducted as diversionary tactics to divide the attention of the reinforcing AFP personnel.
But even these are already held in check.
Information from operating units states that at around 2PM 23 May 2017, Soldiers, acting on the information regarding the presence of local terrorists and their cohorts, proceeded to Brgy. Basak, Malutlut, Marawi City for a law enforcement Operation.
The security forces were fired upon constraining them to retaliate.
Follow-up operations are on-going. We cannot reveal other details so as not to compromise operational security.
Follow on forces are underway as we speak to further ensure that we will keep the grip of the situation.
Meanwhile, we fervently urge our people to refrain from posting in social media information that would tend exacerbate the situation. Especially of photos and videos on the movements of our troops and on terrorist propaganda circulating through social media.
We will continue to provide updates as often as possible with due regard to the security of our operating forces and the conduct of the operations itself."