MANILA- As armed conflict in Marawi City reached its 45th day Thursday, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is firm that there will be no deals or negotiations with the Maute Group terrorists who have ravaged the city and killed scores of civilians and government troops.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla commented this on reports that claimed President Rodrigo Duterte allegedly tried to negotiate a deal with the lawless elements but backed out.
"Everybody believes that nothing of that sort will ever happen because the instruction coming from the commander-in-chief has been very clear, that there will be no negotiations with this evil elements who are inside the city and brought damage and havoc to Marawi," Padilla said.
The AFP official said that negotiations with the terrorists was out of the question as these elements had willingly killed innocent civilians and soldiers who were just doing their duties.
"They have killed many innocent civilians and the lives of our men. So how can you negotiate with them? " Padilla asked.
As of this posting, Maute Group terrorists killed in the ongoing Marawi City conflict reached 351 with firearms seized at 425.
Number of civilians executed by the terrorists is placed at 39 while rescued civilians reached 1,723.
Fighting in Marawi City broke out when government security troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, the ISIS' "emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.
Source: Philippines News Agency