Philippines hails inclusion of Maute-ISIS in US terror list
The Philippine government welcomed on Wednesday the inclusion of the Maute-ISIS Group in the United States' list of foreign terrorist organizations.
The US State Department has listed the "ISIS-Philippines," along with ISIS-Bangladesh and ISIS-West Africa, on its foreign terrorists organizations on February 27.
"The official designation of the Maute Group as an affiliate group of ISIS and its inclusion in the US list of foreign terrorist organizations are positive developments in the campaign against terrorism," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
The Philippine government has tagged local terrorist Maute group as ISIS-linked.
"This affirms our long-held belief that the Maute Group is composed of local terrorists aided by foreign extremists," Roque said.
He said US move also recognizes the decisive action that the government has taken in liberating Marawi from these terrorists, "which resulted in the success of the government in thwarting the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the area and the containing of the rebellion from spreading to other parts of the Philippines."
"Terrorism, indeed, knows no borders and the inclusion of the Maute Group in the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists and Foreign Terrorist Organizations as an affiliate group of ISIS shows the solidarity and resolve of the international community to flush out evil forces to make the world safe and secure," he added.
The government forces fought with the Maute-ISIS terrorists for five months until October last year in Marawi City. Close to 980 terrorists were killed while government forces sustained 165 casualties. Celerina Monte/DMS