The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday welcomes other revolutionary organisations to fight the Maute group militant, who are presently battling Philippines soldiers in Marawi City.
The AFP made this announcement in response to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte unconventional appeal seeking the support of the Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and New People's Army.
Duterte said he can offer revolutionary fighters, who are willing to fight the Maute terror group, the same pay, privileges as the Philippines soldiers. According to latest reports, in Marawi City, death toll has already reached 100 – 61 Mute militants, 20 soldiers and 19 civilians.
The President said he even received a letter from the MNLF leadershipp offering his armed fighters to join the battle in Marawi and other parts of Lanao del Sur province. Duterte was also toying the idea of creating a new army division to accommodate the Muslim and Maoist rebels, who are familiar with the terrain of Maute-controlled areas.
AFP spokesman General Restituto Padilla said that they welcome any form of support to quell rebellions. He has also advised locals to be careful and vigilant. As intense fighting enters its seventh day on Monday, military continue to launch airstrikes and firepower from tanks to finish off the Maute Group, who, on the other hand, continue their resistance.
The Maute Group reportedly collaborated with three other militant groups in the Southern Philippines like the Abu Sayyaf Group, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Ansarul Khilafah Group.
Based in Central Mindanao, the Maute Brothers Group or locally known as the Islamic State in Lanao (ISIL), is headed by brothers Omar and Abdullah Maute. They caught the attention of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) when they had their first intense battle engagement in Butig town in Lanao del Sur in September last year.
The military earlier belittled the Maute group until it ambushed a military checkpoint in 2013. The group eventually evolved into one of the country's feared terror threats when the military intelligence broke the news that the Maute Group has pledged allegiance to the ISIS.