Marawi Mayor: Police station, city jail not burned

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra disputed on Wednesday reports that the local police station and city jail were burned by the Islamic State (ISIS)-inspired Maute Group in light of the ongoing crisis in the area.

Speaking to CNN Philippines anchor Pinky Webb on The Source, Gandamra said that he had spoken with personnel from the local police station.

"Hindi po totoo na na-takeover nila ang police station at ang… city jail," said Gandamra. "Meron pong reports talaga na merong… structure na inattempt nila na sunugin, pero ito po ay na-prevent ng mga personnel na nandoon sa police station."

[Translation: It's not true they took over the police station and… city jail. There are reports… that they tried to burn down a structure, but this was prevented by personnel from the police station.]

The crisis in Marawi broke out after a clash between the Maute Group and the Armed Forced of the Philippines (AFP) on Tuesday afternoon. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the encounter cost at least three military and police lives, while hundreds of residents make their way out of the city for sanctuary.

Related: Three gov't troops killed in Marawi clash - Defense Chief

The turn of events prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao and cut short his visit to Russia.

Related: Duterte declares martial law in Mindanao

Lorenzana said that the Maute group also occupied several establishments, including the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, the city hall, and part of the Mindanao State University compound.

Gandamra has since disputed that the City Hall has taken over, since he is currently in the venue along with his relatives and staff.

He also said that Amai Pakpak Medical Center had not been overrun, based on a phone call with the hospital director at midnight on Wednesday. Gandamra said that the hospital was still in operation.

"Yung iba doon ay umalis na ho, but 40 to 50 percent of the patients are still there. Yung sinabi po na tinakeover ay walang katotohanan," Gandamra clarified.

[Translation: The others have left, but 40 to 50 percent of patients are still there. The takeover they said happened is not true.]

However, he claimed that the hospital director had told him three to five alleged members of the group arrived at the hospital in the early evening.

"Nagdala (sila) doon ng isang wounded person and later on, (he) was declared dead po. Allegedly, baka kasama po yun ng grupong yun," said Gandamra.

[Translation: (They) brought a wounded person and later on, (he) was declared dead. Allegedly, they might have been part of that group.]

The St. Mary's Church, the Ninoy Aquino School, and the Dansalan College were also reported to be burned.

Fire in Dansalan College

Gandamra confirmed that a fire had taken place in Dansalan College, although the details still "[have] to be validated."

"Merong structure doon na nasunog po, hindi ho lahat [There was a structure burned, but not all]," said Gandamra. "Tinatawagan na yung ating mga [We're calling] concerned authorities… to give us the full details of the situation."

An eyewitness who identified herself as Jana likewise told CNN Philippines that they had managed to rescue some teachers from college. As of Wednesday morning, she and her companions were en route to Iligan, a neighboring city.

She said that three buildings in the school - a science building, Integrity Hall, and another hall - were burned down.

"Pati na po yung Yellow House, yung bahay po ng mga teacher," she added. "As in, pagpasok namin, abo lahat."

[Translation: The Yellow House (was burned too), the house of the teachers. As in, when we went it, it was all in ashes.]