MANILA - The government needs to meet with locals to weed out the remaining members of the Islamic State-inspired Maute group, a leader of a civil society organization said Thursday.
Samira Gutoc-Tomawis of the Ranao Rescue Team said military action without proper communication may be sending inconsistent messages to displaced residents of Lanao del Sur, especially with the airstrike in Tubayawan town falling after Eid al-Fitr.
"When are we going to just learn the lesson that 20 years of Abu Sayyaf, hindi mauubos because sa bakbakan lang. It has to be a legislation, an institution, people reporting, and people will report if they trust their institutions," she told ANC.
Thousands of people have already been displaced as state troops continue to hunt down the remaining members of the terrorists who were also behind the siege of Marawi City last year.
Among the evacuees were 387 families in Tubaran, 573 in Binidayan, 355 in Pagayawan, 350 in Bayang, 22 in Marogong, 21 in Ganassi, and 9 in Calanogas.
Gutoc said evacuees are in need of water, food, and other basic needs.