Screenshot of a video the military recovered from a Maute safe house shows the Maute brothers and Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon planning the attack in Marawi City
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine military said on Friday, September 8, that it has "reason to believe" that 5 other Maute brothers have been killed in Marawi City, leaving only Omar Maute directing the fight.
"They have reason to believe that only one of the Maute brothers remains in the fight and this is Omar. The rest are believed to have been killed," Armed Forces spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said in a Malacañang news briefing.
Padilla, who is AFP deputy chief of staff for plans, said that there are a total of 7 Maute brothers who are part of the Maute Group. (READ: Terror in Mindanao: The Mautes of Marawi)
The military reported on Monday, September 4, that Abdullah Maute, commander of the group's military operations, might have been killed.
"To our knowledge, 7 siblings are involved in the group....The others have been killed," said Padilla.
For the military to be absolutely certain about the deaths, the remains of the supposed Maute brothers would have to subjected to DNA testing.
The information of their deaths came from Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez and hostages who were able to escape from the terrorists' hideout.
As of Friday, 653 terrorists have been killed, according to the military. The battle area in Marawi has been reduced to 20 hectares after days of "fierce" close-quarter battle, said Padilla. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.