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Kung nagsabi lang sana! Dela Rosa: Defense officials wouldn’t be in Russia if exact date of Maute attack known

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The country’s top defense officials wouldn’t have pushed through with their trip to Russia in May had they known in advance when the Maute group attacked Marawi City, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said.

“Hindi naman natin alam kung anong fixed date. Kung nagsabi sila ng fixed date, eh di ready tayo,” Dela Rosa said Wednesday (June 14).

The PNP chief said that while they had information about the Maute group’s plan to attack, they did not know when it will be carried out.

“Kung alam lang namin, di kami bi-biyahe,” he said.

When fighting between the Maute group and government forces began on May 23, Dela Rosa and other high-ranking defense officials were in Russia with President Rodrigo Duterte for an official visit.

Also part of the President’s official delegation were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Eduardo Año.

Duterte had to cut his week-long stay in Russia short after the clashes in Marawi City intensified.

Former President Fidel V. Ramos had criticized Duterte’s trip to Russia as a junket because of the sheer number of officials who tagged along.