MANILA -- The Department of National Defense (DND) has yet to confirm reports that there are ongoing efforts by Maute-ISIS remnants to recruit new members in Mindanao and Metro Manila.
This was disclosed by DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana at the sidelines of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Yearend Meeting held at the AFP Commissioned Officers' Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday.
"I cannot confirm that kasi we have not gotten any concrete evidence na merong ganun e, but what we are seeing are just newspaper reports that there are report(s) nyan," he added.
An estimated 933 Maute-ISIS terrorists and their allies were killed in the five-month battle to retake Marawi City. Fighting in the city started May 23 and was officially declared over in October 23.
Among those killed were Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS emir in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, along with all the group's founders.
With the death of these terrorists, the military said the group is totally neutralized if not totally eliminated.
Source: Philippine News Agency