By Ana Jacinta Olabre
MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Wednesday said the outlawed Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters lack the credibility to say whether they are affiliated with the Maute terrorist group or not.
When asked if the BIFF and Maute group are the same and if they have pledged allegiance to ISIS, Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, said that the BIFF have been issuing opposing statements on the issue.
“At one point, their spokesman is saying that they’re not related to the Mautes. At another point, they’re saying that they’re related to the Mautes and they have done this and done that,” Padilla said during a televised press briefing on Wednesday.
He said that the BIFF has joined forces with the Maute group inside Marawi City, where security forces and terrorists have been locked in combat since May 23.
Last Friday, Padilla also said a "tactical alliance" between the Maute terror group and the BIFF was possible since the latter had aided the forces of other local militant groups in the past.
The Maute local terrorist group attacked Marawi City on May 23 after a failed government operation against Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, whom the military says may already have fled the city.
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