Philippines President Duterte said there was no failure of the intelligence they received but a lack of comprehension on who they were dealing with, worsened the situation in the conflict against the Maute group.
“Because we did not know at that time who really was the opponent. Are these politicians quarrelling, or are they a private army of politicians?” he said when explaining why the army has not been able to rid Marawi of the attackers.
Nevertheless, a source from Mindanao told The Independent the government was probably too quick in calling the fight as one against a terror group since the Maute is a group of local warlords.
“Are they really the ISIS or Daesh? It is more about local grudges,” said the source.
Now, he said, they realized: “Outside, this Maute was bringing the firearms surreptitiously and we (on our side) did not get as much ammo as the Maute group.”
Clearly an intel fail.
But Duterte is adamant there is no failure in the intel, but a failure by the military to ‘read the intel’ properly.
The President was speaking before soldiers that compose the 401st Brigade-4th Infantry Division Advance Command post in Bancasi, Butuan City, gave his version of the armed conflict that has claimed the lives of at least 58 soldiers, 191 terrorists and a number of civilians. Almost 300,000 have been displaced and many are miserable in evacuation centers.