Desperate after being reduced to not more than 100 by Philippine security forces, the Maute terrorists in Marawi were plotting to use their civilian hostages as suicide bombers and attack the soldiers.
This report was confirmed by three hostages who escaped their terrorists-captors. According to them, the Maute terrorist group leaders were discussing how to use the remaining hostages as suicide bombers in battle-torn Marawi City.There are at least a hundred hostages, including a Catholic priest.
The hostages who recently escaped from their captors include military personnel: Romar Marjalino, 39, Roel Marjalino, 37, and Jimmy Esperat, 43. Authorities brought the victims to Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar of Zamboanga City as they belonged from the city.
The terrified hostages also revealed that the terrorists' initial plan was to strap improvised bombs on to their bodies and use them as shields against pursuing soldiers who were reportedly nearing the terrorists' nerve center in the Marawi's battle zone.
The Philippine government through the Presidential spokesman office denounced the act. In its press statement released to Philippine journalists, the statement read: "We strongly denounce these desperate actions which, apparently, are carefully calculated to create violent reaction from the general populace in order to create tension between ethnic groups which the terrorist groups expect to work in favor of their cause."
Moreover, the Philippine government has repeatedly been announcing since 23 May, when the war broke out, that they will abide by the rules of engagement to secure the remaining hostages from the hands of their captors.