The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) expressed belief that brothers Abdulah and Omar Maute and Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon are still in the main-battle area inside Marawi City.
In an interview, AFP Public Affairs Office chief Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo, said that base on the monitoring done by troops on the ground, the terrorist leaders are still in the area and has not escaped.
“Sa kabila nung nangyaring kaguluhan, kasiraan at nagpapatuloy pang bakbakan at least alam natin na ’yung ating hinahanap kasalukuyan pang nandun sa area,” said Arevalo.
When asked if the three HVT (high-valued targets) are hidden inside a mosque together with the other hostages, Arevalo said they could not say that.
“Sa mosque? Hindi ko, hindi namin masabi (We cannot say) where exactly they are kung nandun sila sa (if they are inside the) mosque. But what we can say is they are still within the main battle area,” Arevalo said.