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P500M, jewelries looted by Maute/ASG rebels and criminal gangs in Marawi - AFP

MARAWI CITY, July 9 -- Fresh from inside Marawi comes disturbing narratives of looting, burglary and theft. An estimated P500M worth of cash was reportedly looted/stolen by Maute/ASG rebels, together with criminals in Marawi City, according to revelations by hostages who successfully escaped and were later on rescued by government forces.

Seven hostages who were able to reach the government forces two weeks ago, followed by another who escaped a few days later and by another two several days ago, made these disturbing revelations, thus, corroborating earlier information received by the headquarters of the Joint Task Force Marawi.

All these hostages revealed that they were forced to convert to Islam or be killed. According to them, they were initially tasked to loot and steal from the houses or establishments for ammunition, firearms, cash, gold, and jewelries.

They estimate that their group alone was able to loot/steal at least P500M in cash, not to include other items they have taken from households and business establishments.

They believe that the amount of cash and valuable items looted could be worth more as there were several other groups being forced by the terrorists to loot and steal for them.

The rescued and escaped hostages said they were forced to loot and steal under duress and upon instruction and supervision of the Maute/ASG rebels and local criminals gangs that joined the Mautes after being promised monetary rewards by the DAESH-inspired group.

The rescued individuals also revealed that they followed a daily routine looting-stealing schedule: morning 7AM-11AM, return for lunch then back to looting-stealing after lunch, up to 3PM and then back to their holding place. The looted items were brought to a central storage in a mosque and received by designated Maute members who were keeping a list for accounting.

It is believed there are countless other crimes being committed by the Maute/ASG rebels and criminal gangs while fighting is ongoing. More revelations and information were divulged by the rescued hostages, some of them awaiting validation.

JTF Marawi will share more information with the public as more of it comes in and as soon as these are ascertained.
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