The Philippine Marine officers stated that the recovered cash ₱52.2 million and stale checks worth ₱P27 million which were safely hidden in a vault. The said amount were found during a clearing operation near the Mapandi bridge which the government troops called a "machine gun nest".
They also recovered an M-16 rifle which was led by First Lieutenant Frederick Savellano of the Marine Battalion Landing Team-7's 37th Marine Company. A sniper of the Maute group in the house was also taken out, stated by Captain Jo-ann Petinglay of the Western Mindanao Command.
He also requested for an investigation for both the cash and checks and also for the house where those were recovered, he described the house as "well-built".
"We don't know yet who owns the house where the money was found," said Herrera.
He also said the the cash and checks were turned over to the Joint Task Force Marawi for safekeeping after the inventory was done.
Marine Major Rowan Rimas stated that it could be possible that the house is owned by a Maute group member.
"It was under the control of the Maute group because prior to the assault of the troops, there is a gun mount in that area. And our troops were being fired upon," he said.
"The Maute group, they have defensive positions. They have a very capable group. But the recovery of those millions of cash indicate that they are running, because the government troops are pressing in," he added.
Rimas also said that if civilians were the ones who owns the cash and checks, they would've brought all with them.
"If a civilian owns that money, dadalhin na niya yun, hindi niya iiwan yun. Ibig sabihin yung pera na yun, sa Maute." he said.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said the the recovery and turnover of money "debunks claims that troops have been involved in looting as claimed by some quarters." He also pointed out that the gesture done by the government troops depicts AFP's job is done "with honor, integrity, and on high moral ground."
The Maute group and their sympathizers accused government soldiers of such crimes as a part of their propaganda says Brigadier General Joselito Rolando Bautista, commander of Task Force Marawi.
"In contrast, the Maute/ASG (Abu Sayyaf Group) vandalized, looted and burned school buildings, hospital rooms, houses and destroyed many properties in Marawi," he said.
"We are proud of our soldiers in the field. Their commendable actions in caring for our people bespeak of the best practices in the AFP," he commended the the Marine troops for their honesty.
Source: CNN; SunStar