PA sees no timeline in drive against Maute armed group

The military has set an indefinite timeline in its relentless assault to drive away the terror Maute group out of Butig, Lanao del Sur, a top military official said Monday.

Maj. Gen. Harold Cabreros, Philippine Army (PA)vice commander, has given no assurance of the exact time frame that the Maute group would cease to exist.

Cabreros, however, said that the military is working hard to ensure that the terror group would no longer remain a threat to the communities in the area.

“We cannot just predict it, but based on the success of our operations, surely our troops can get the group anytime,” Cabreros said.

He said that the government troopers from the Army’s 1st Infantry Division are continuously pursuing the local terrorists.

Butig was freed from the control of the Maute group after several days of constant attacks and bombardment by the military last week, leaving part of the town in the rubble because of mortar fires.

More than 2,000 families had also fled their homes following the series of fighting between the terrorists and the government troopers.

Cabreros said that the PA would lend a hand in the reconstruction of the destroyed structures if needed.

The vice commander visited the 4th Infantry Division headquarters at Camp Edilberto Evangelista in Barangay Patag as guest of honor of the graduation of 248 soldiers here.

The newly graduated trainees would be deployed to the division’s battalions all over Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.

While there is no shortage of troops, Cabreros said the PA needs more soldiers to fill up the vacancies for those who retired or discharged from duty. (PNA)