ELEMENTS of Philippine Marines recovered P79.2 million worth of cash and checks in a house occupied by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-Maute Terror Group (MTG) during their operation Monday afternoon in Marawi City.
This was confirmed yesterday by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla .
Padilla said the troops recovered P52.2 million in cash and P27 million checks in a house occupied by the terror group near Mapandi bridge in the said city.
Padilla said Marine forces doing house-to-house clearing against the terrorists recovered the amount and under constant fire, a team extricated the area to surrender the millions to the headquarters of Task Force Marawi.
“The recovered money will be for safekeeping of proper authorities until appropriate investigation is conducted and proper identification of owner is established,” he said.
AFP-Western Mindanao Command (Westmicom) chief Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez lauded the troops for a splendid job.
He also vowed to make every possible step to safeguard the properties of the people of Marawi and take actions to free remaining trapped civilians inside the terrorists’ stronghold.
“I commend and salute our troops for keeping the highest standard of discipline, valor and commitment in safeguarding Marawi and defending the community from terror elements,” Galvez said.
“Our soldiers are committed to make all possible actions to free all trapped civilians in Marawi even at the risk of their own lives” Galvez added.
For his part, Task Force Marawi commander Brig. Gen. Joselito Rolando Bautista also commended the troops for their act of honesty.
Bautista stressed that the recovery of the amount by the government troops is proof that soldiers do not engage in looting, adding that the AFP will not tolerate such act.
Meanwhile, the millions found inside the Maute group hideout could have been accumulated for the past two years even as Malacanang wants to know details, notably its source about the money uncovered by the military.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the P52.2 million in cold cash was compiled from 2014 to 2016.
“I did inquire and apparently the money has been compiled over from the time of… within 2014 and 2016. I mean, all I can say is that, that... based on the records I think, it has been slowly accumulated over the past two years,” Abella said.
Abella however said that details of where the millions came from were yet to be revealed.