Philippines Military Says Seizes Drugs Worth Millions of Dollars in Besieged City

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 20, 2017

The 11 bags of shabu, the local name for methamphetamine, were recovered on Sunday along with four assault rifles in the kitchen of a two-storey concrete house believed to be occupied by fighters from the Maute Group.

Brig. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, commander of 1st Infantry Division, slammed the terrorists for their continued use of mosques as battle positions and the use of drugs.

With the arrest of suspected Maute members in other parts of the country, Herrera said there is a possibility that Maute members may be blending with civilians but said that mechanisms are in place in areas outside Marawi City to ensure the public's safety.

"Soldiers spotted men clad in black emerging from a cluster of houses that prompted troops to maneuver".

Authorities estimate the value of recovered shabu at around P110 million to P250 million.

AFP said military forces were able to conduct successful operations against the NPA, mostly in North-eastern Mindanao.

The Marawi crisis enters its fifth week.

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He also said that the illegal drugs recovered will be turned over to concerned authorities.

The military refused to give the exact location where the drugs were seized as an investigation is underway.

Drug paraphernalia is also recovered from the house, an indication that Maute members were using shabu, Estribillo said.

He added that the troops also describes the Maute group as "drug crazed" during the firefight. (The bags of shabu) look like they were just opened.

"It seemed like the NPAs wanted to affiliate with the Maute-ISIS group as shown by their order of offensives against the AFP on account of the declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao, which was implemented to protect our people from the ISIS-linked terrorists", Colonel Arevalo said.

Año said the AFP has prepared the Combat Engineering Brigades from the Army and the Navy for immediate deployment as soon as the clearing operations around the city are completed.

"Troops continue to get deeper into once enemy-held positions as evidenced by the recovery of cadavers of terrorists and their firearms, computers, and peripherals, as well as communications equipment and accessories", he said.

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