World Bulletin / News Desk
Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of Western Mindanao Command, said 52 million Philippine pesos in cash and checks worth 27 million pesos had been found in the city where heavy fighting has been ongoing since May 23.
“A team extricated the area to surrender the millions to the headquarters of Task Force Marawi,” he told Anadolu Agency. The source of the cash had been traced, he added without explaining further.
The Philippine Star newspaper reported that marines captured the house from heavily armed terrorists from the Maute group, who, along with Abu Sayyaf militants, still control around 10 percent of the provincial capital.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the money had been accumulated over two years, GMA News Online said.
Meanwhile, Marawi City’s Bishop Edwin de la Pena condemned the destruction of St. Mary’s Cathedral as “demonic”.
“We are angered by what happened,” he told CBCP News. “Our faith has really been trampled on.”
A video released by an agency linked to ISIL at the weekend showed militants smashing Roman Catholic icons and burning down the church.
“That is blasphemy. It’s unacceptable,” De la Pena said. “It’s obvious that their actions are really out of this world. It’s demonic.”
Since militants attacked the city, around 30 civilians, 40 soldiers and more than 100 militants have been killed.