‘UN 17-star-general’ nabbed at Marawi City checkpoint

A man posing as a seventeen-star general of the United Nations Soldier International, along with four others, were arrested at a check point in Marawi City on Thursday.

According to a report by Raffy Tima in 24 Oras, the so-called seventeen-star general claimed to be a Commanding General in Philippines Asia Pacific.

Four others were arrested with him.

He said his group were under orders from the United States Special Forces, which allegedly functions as an advisor for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during its operations against the Islamic State- linked Maute group.

The man had an interpreter as he could not speak Tagalog well.

“Akala namin ang dadating Amerikano, eh Pilipino pala. Bababa na sana kami eh pinigilan kami nila,” said Florante Alejandrino, who introduced himself as the interpreter.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) suspects that the group’s motive was extortion.

“In my assignments sa Luzon, merong mga ganito, most of which are on extortion activities. Ang gagawin is kukuha kunwari ng ID, and ang gambit nun ay medical and other benefits na pwedeng makuha,” said Senior Superintendent John Gano Guyguyon, the PNP provincial director in Lanao del Norte.

They were baffled as to how the group managed to get past the previous checkpoints in other cities.

Their vehicle had a tarpaulin bearing a logo and the words “Appointment Authority.”

“Pag wala kang alam sa international membership, eh akala mo totoo. may ID na malalaki,” said Guyguyon.

The group arrived amid reports saying that aid for the terrorists may head to Marawi City from other parts of Mindanao.

Guyguyon assured that the PNP will intensify its information gathering.

PNP officials have also visited checkpoints to remind its personnel to tighten the security.

The Joint Task Force Marawi has also warned the public about fake passes that are being sold to enter Marawi.

It said that passes were free. Jessica Bartolome/NB, GMA News