Over 1,000 residents of Lanao del Sur town return to homes as terror threat defused – Acorda

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — Around 1,800 residents of Marogong town in Lanao del Sur who fled over the weekend have returned to their homes as an earlier terror threat has already been "defused," Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Benjamin Acorda Jr. said.

In a press briefing on Monday, Acorda said Bangsamoro police "reacted appropriately" to the threat of the militant group Daulah Islamiyah which prompted residents to flee to neighboring towns for safety.

"Ang latest na na-monitor ko is nagsibalikan na sila [The latest update that I have monitored is that they have already returned]," Acorda said. "I'm happy to report that as of now, we have ample security forces there enough to really safeguard 'yong bayan [the town]."

The Daulah Islamiyah, a part of the alliance of Islamic State-linked militants that laid siege to Marawi City in 2017, threatened to attack Marogong town following the capture of four of its young members, Lanao del Sur's public information office said in a report on Saturday.

The Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in a separate press release, said it arrested in a joint operation with the PNP on Thursday four members of the group — two of them 18 years old, and the others aged 14 and 16.

"We beefed up the police force in the area," Acorda said. "We deployed mga mobile forces natin do'n [our mobile forces there]."

The PNP chief said the agency constantly coordinated with the AFP for updates on the situation.

"We are updated with the situation and even the threat in the area and somehow 'yong [the] realignment of forces, we made it sure that the threat is defused," he added.