Maranao or people by the Lake Lanao are leaving by thousands Wednesday their home Islamic City of Marawi after battles broke out between government troopers and Maute terrorists who allied themselves with the ISIS began Tuesday.
Norodin Alonto Lucman in interview with Egan of GMA 7 early Wednesday morning said that “thousands of residents are leaving the city to avoid the imminent clash between the self-prolaimed ISIS group and the AFP.”
He called President Duterte to utilize the right people to contain the situation and for the AFP “to retake the city from rebel groups whose numbers run to hundreds of heavily armed fighters, some of them Yakans and Tausogs.”
He added that “there are many casualties in both sides including civilians.”
Photos posted by netizens on Facebook showed people and vehicles hurrying to leave the city as well as a city in flame and shuddering in terror and grief.
The military said though that they are in control of the situation.
But by Wednesday noon interviewed by Raffy Tima of GMA News TV, Lucman described that the “situation is no good considering that there are no leaders negotiating with the armed groups.”
Lucman is inside Marawi City, saying he is in an area overlooking the city.
He said pockets of areas in the city are controlled by armed groups but the “military is moving to retake (the areas).”
He said that at press time there are about “ten areas occupied by armed groups” and three sites that have raised ISIS flags.
On Tuesday evening Lucman said he heard bursts from mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. “Walang tulugan”.
He advised anew his Muslim brethren to leave Marawi City to Iligan, Cagayan de Oro cities and neighboring areas.
He said he heard an information that a 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline was set for the residents to leave the city.
Lucman warned of a food crisis if the situation would drag on for long.
“Galit na galit kami sa mangyari that this has happened as this should have been addressed before, kaya galit na galit kami,” Lucman said, referring to earlier report about the entry of terrorists in the city that the intelligence failed to appreciate.
He said that he and his relatives are supporting though Duterte and his Martial Law declaration.
Meanwhile, Marawi Bishop Edwin Dela Pena Chito in interview with GMA Balitanghali bared that “roughly ten people from the city parish were kidnapped” by Maute terrorists including Marawi parish priest Chito Suganob.
He said he never expected that this situation would happen to Marawi City. (mindanaosunchronicle.com/Cha Monforte)