Mayors across the mainly Muslim province of Lanao del Sur have declared pro-Daesh terrorists “enemies of the Maranao people”, local media reported Saturday.
Mayors in the province’s 41 towns have taken the stand as the army closes in on the last remaining Maute group terrorists in Marawi City, the capital of the province, after more than 11 weeks of fighting.
The group, led by two brothers from the city, has pledged allegiance to Daesh.
Maranao is a collective term for the indigenous Muslims living around Lake Lanao on the southern island of Mindanao.
Zia Alonto Adiong, President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman on the Lanao del Sur crisis, told CNN Philippines the mayors would reinforce local security plans and mobilize religious leaders to issue an anti-terrorism ruling.
“We will engage the Maute on all fronts, mobilizing all sectors, stakeholders to combine our efforts to counter the spread of false teachings, radicalization of our youth and the threat of terrorism,” he said.
Hundreds have been killed since the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf attacked Marawi on May 23 which led to the imposition of martial law across Mindanao.