Duterte claims Marawi war sparked by warrant vs drug lord

Duterte claims Marawi war sparked by warrant vs drug lord
The facts on the ground, however, contradict Duterte's claim, as the Marawi war erupted after a botched raid to get terrorist leader Isnilon Hapilon

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte claimed on Tuesday, September 26, that the war in Marawi was ignited by an arrest warrant for a drug lord in the southern Philippine city.

“The Marawi war was ignited by the service of a summons and a warrant of arrest for one of the drug lords there. There was a firefight, and that started the rebellion,” Duterte said in a speech past 8 pm on Tuesday.

“And I was really aghast to know that until now they have so many bullets, ordnance, and everything, that the fight is still going on,” he added in his speech during the 56th anniversary of the Philippine Constitution Association at the Manila Hotel.

The facts on the ground, however, contradict Duterte’s claim. (READ: Via Telegram, Western Union: How ISIS in Syria funded Marawi terrorists)

The war in Marawi erupted after a botched raid to get Isnilon Hapilon, a subleader of a faction of the Abu Sayyaf Group in Basilan.

Hapilon is said to be the emir of international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS) in Southeast Asia.

The military had been watching Hapilon in Basilan and followed him when he joined the Maute Group in Butig, Lanao del Sur in late 2016.

When he was spotted in Marawi in May, the military launched a raid to get him.

The Abu Sayyaf is known for its kidnap-for-ransom activities and its fighters have been accused by the military of using drugs when fighting troops. But there are no known cases related to illegal drugs against Hapilon. – Rappler.com

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