MANILA, Philippines – The Maute Group is facing leadership problem in Marawi City as it continue to suffer losses in its battle against government forces which has entered its 5th week this week, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said on Sunday.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, spokesperson for the Joint Task Force Marawi, told reporters the terrorist group are running out of ammunitions and supplies and victory for the government is imminent.
“[There] is the crumbling of leadership inside the conflict zone or in ground zero. We have validated reports that there are leadership problems inside,” said Herrera.
This came amid reports that Abu Sayyaf Group leader Isnilon Hapilon has fled Marawi City; causing a rift in the leadership of the terrorist group. The AFP also said earlier the Maute Group are executing their own members if they tried to escape the city.
“Some of them, especially those other groups would like already to get away from the battle zone; in Tagalog, gusto na nila lumayas, gusto na nila tumakas [they want to flee, they want to escape the war zone]. However, there are some groups who wanted to stay behind, stay in the conflict zone,” the military official said.
The fracture in leadership has allegedly affected the morale of those who were left to fight the government troops; a manifestation of the group’s losing its ground.
Herrera further claimed the military is now obviously winning the battle and ‘victory is irreversible’.
“We are, inch by inch, moving towards the center of gravity. These are the things that are affecting them in terms of morale,” Herrera added.