WESTERN Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. has said government security forces are tracking down five terrorists who have the potential to continue the ISIS caliphate threat in the country.
Galvez on GMA News TV program “State of the Nation with Jessica Soho” said they were searching for Malaysian terrorist Amin Bacu, an Indonesian terrorist, and three of Hapilon’s children.
He said in a radio interview the security forces were just zeroing in on the top two defiant foreign terrorists defending their last bastion, with the military foreseeing the closing of curtain of the dark episode of Marawi City from the clutches of evil.
Galvez said Islamic State militants—two Malaysians including Amin Bacu and an Indonesian jihadist identified as Ibno Kayin—were the remaining terrorists, now the target of the military’s finishing touches to finally declare the Marawi City siege over.
Aside from the terrorist stragglers, Galvez said the troops were also relentlessly tracking down the three sons of Isnilon Hapilon who were with the foreign Islamic militants still resisting the military’s might.
Hapilon, the emir of Isis in Southeast Asia and Omar Maute, Hapilon’s conduit in the terrorist organization in Mindanao, were both killed by a military sniper while attempting to escape at the height of battle inside the main battle area last week.
Hapilon and Maute’s killing virtually liberated Marawi City from terrorist occupation for almost five months.
With the looming killing of the remnants of terrorists facing imminent collapse, Galvez projected the ending of the Marawi crisis by Sunday.
“Most probably tomorrow, we can do it. We can declare it is totally complete,” Galvez projected during the weekend.
Malaysian militant Amin Bacu were with four other ISIS fighters, mostly Malaysians, who sought sanctuary in Mindanao after the Malaysians launched a crackdown against ISIS elements in their country last 2013.
Baco’s cohorts included University Malaya lecturer Dr. Mahmud Ahmad; stationary shop owner Mohd Najib Husen; former Selayang Municipal Council employee Muhammad Joraimee Awang Raimee, and Jeknal Adil, of Darul Islan Sabah.
The military claimed to have killed Dr. Ahmad, the planner and financier of the Marawi attack. Troops are currently tracking where Ahmad’s body was buried.
Galvez said Bacu took over the realms of leadership from Hapilon’s death and in control of the deployment of Islamic militants in the region.
However, Galvez said they could not totally declare that its mission was accomplished until they eliminated the five persons still within the battle zone trying to survive.
Meanwhile, a cousin of Hapilon, along with eight others who operate in Basilan, voluntarily surrendered to military authorities Saturday.
AFP Public Affairs Office head, Col. Edgard Arevalo, identified Hapilon’s cousin as Ben Salina Sapilin, alias Ben.
“We were able to identify Ben Salina Sapilin who uses the alias “Ben” a cousin of Isnilon Hapilon. He along with other members Ramu Sapilin and Muhamad Endeng surrender to the troops of the 74th Infantry Battlion on October 17 in Albarka Basilan. They brought along with them three high-powered firearms,” Arevalo said.
Arevalo said a total 325 ASG members had been neutralized while 124 were killed in military operations; 882 were arrested and 119 surrendered.