Philippines: Maute Terrorists Using Hostages As Sex Slaves As Marawi Battle Wears On
MANILA – The military disclosed today that Maute terrorists are not only using their hostages as human shields, but are forcing female hostages into sex slavery.
“There are women hostages who became sex slaves. [This is] information told to us by those who escaped from the fighting in Marawi,” said Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Jr., spokesman for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), during a media briefing.
A hostage whom the military identified identified only as “Bing” for security reasons, said that about 100 hostages, including Catholic priest Fr. Teresito Suganob, were forced under pain of death to plant improvised bombs in buildings in the war zone where they are hiding.
Fr. Suganob has been captive since May 23, the day the terrorists attacked Marawi City, which lies some 850 kilometers south of Manila.
Prisoners are also forced to carry ammunition and help in the evacuation of wounded Maute terrorists, the rescued hostage said during an interview on television.
“The worst thing, cases of female hostages who were forced to marry. They are being forced to be sex slaves,” said Lt. Col. Jo Ar Herrera, spokesman for the Joint Task Force Marawi in another media briefing.
“This is what is happening inside...These are evil personalities,” he said.
“While they were in captivity, they were being used. The hostages were tasked to loot houses, especially for ammunition, firearms, gold, jewelries. These were the tasks given to them by the Maute,” Herrera said.
Civilian hostages were also forced to carry firearms and even shoot at the soldiers.
During gun battles, the terrorists use the hostages as human shields, which forced the military to take extra care in returning fire.
Philippine Air Force (PAF) planes have been conducting surgical bombings on Maute hideouts in the remaining four villages being held by the terrorists.
Of the estimated 400 to 500 Maute terrorists that initially occupied Marawi City, only an estimated 100 to 120 remain alive.
During the past 39 days, the military has captured high-powered weapons, including .50 caliber machine guns and improvised bombs.
Gen. Padilla would not say when the fighting would end but said, “It is just a matter of time when the terrorists would be crushed.”