Shabu haul seized from Maute lair

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 19 2017 07:50 AM

Soldiers conduct a foot patrol after a security inspection, as they continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City, Saturday. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA - Security forces have recovered 11 kilos of suspected drugs from a fallen stronghold of Maute terrorists in Marawi, boosting speculation that the group has been using narcotics to keep up their 3-week siege of the southern city, the military confirmed Monday.

"Kahapon po (Linggo), matapos magkaroon ng masusing pag-clearing ang lahat ng units natin d'yan, nakakuha po tayo ng 11 kilos ng naka-pack na pinaghihinalaan nating shabu," Armed Forces spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla told radio DZMM.

"Maaaring ito ang kanilang patuloy na ginagamit upang manatiling gising sa gabi at tuloy-tuloy pa rin na parang walang pagod."

(After thorough clearing operations on Sunday, we recovered 11 kilos of packed, suspected shabu. They may have been using this to remain awake at night and continue their activities tirelessly.)

Last year, various drug paraphernalia were also recovered from a lair of Maute fighters in Butig, Padilla noted.

The military earlier said that some 200 extremists were still holed up in Marawi since they stormed the lakeside town on May 23.

More than 300 people meanwhile have been killed as security forces rained bombs in terror positions and conducted close combat operations.

Padilla said state troops have recovered around 250 high-powered terrorist firearms and killed around 250 extremists so far, leaving the group short on manpower and ammunition.

"Tipid na rin sila sa paggamit ng ammo," the official said.