MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed on Thursday, October 19, that Mahmud Ahmad, the Malaysian terrorist who helped finance the Marawi siege, was killed by the military earlier that day.
"Now the other, the one they call Doc – there are 3 of them:, Hapilon, Omar, and Doc – he is an Arab, he was taken this afternoon. And that completes the story," said Duterte during an event of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
A Malacañang official close to Duterte confirmed to Rappler that the President was referring to Mahmud.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla also confirmed Mahmud's death after Duterte's announcement. His body, however, has yet to be found.
The military, earlier on Thursday, said it was still verifying reports that Mahmud was killed.
Mahmud reportedly channeled at least P30 million ($600,000) to finance the attack in Marawi City, according to the military.
He was among 13 fighters the military killed in its latest assault to clear the battle area of what the government called "stragglers."
Mahmud survived the assault on Monday, October 16, that killed the siege's top leaders.
In the same Thursday speech, Duterte said martial law would remain until the last terrorist is "taken out."
"Everybody was asking, when will it stop? It will not stop until the last terrorist is taken out," said Duterte, referring to martial law he declared in Mindanao after the Marawi conflict broke out.
He did not clarify what he meant by "taken out" or the geographic scope of his remark – if "taken out" from Marawi or from the Mindanao region.
He previously said, however, that he would only lift martial law after the clearing operations in Marawi.
These terrorist leaders pledged allegiance to international terrorist network Islamic State (ISIS). – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.