Duterte claims Marawi crisis started over arrest warrant vs. drug lord
The siege of Marawi City all started with an arrest warrant against a drug lord, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed on Tuesday.
“Marawi, what precipitated — what was the flashpoint of Marawi? They were serving a warrant for the arrest of a drug personality. There was a firefight and lumabas na nga ‘yung totoo,” he said at the 120th anniversary of the Department of Justice in Philippine International Convention Center.
The military have previously reported that government forces were trying to serve an arrest warrant on Abu Sayyaf subleader Isnilon Hapilon when the Maute forces attacked.
Duterte had also claimed that slain Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog was involved in funding the bandits in Marawi City.
In his speech, Duterte said he did not expect that the weapons of the pro-ISIS Maute group would be “that enormous” that the fighting would go on up to four months.
Duterte also spoke about the crisis at the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association in Manila Hotel.
“I was really aghast to know that until now, they have so many bullets, ordnance and everything that the fight is still going on,” he said.
The Marawi siege broke out on May 23 when Maute attacked the city, prompting Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law and to cut his official visit in Russia short.
Prior to that, Duterte had said that ISIS anointed Hapilon as its emir in the Philippines.
Hapilon is part of the United States’ list of most wanted terrorists, with a $5 million bounty for information that would directly lead to his apprehension or conviction. — JST, GMA News (courtesy by GMA)admin.