One of the most-wanted Malaysian militants who reportedly helped finance the ongoing siege of the southern Philippine city of Marawi by Islamist extremists is believed to have been killed in the fighting earlier this month.
He leads a faction of the Philippine militant group Abu Sayyaf that has pledged allegiance to IS.
Galvez said there are "strong indications" that two or three of the Maute brothers - among the key players in the siege - had been killed, including Omarkhayam Maute, believed to be the group's top leader.
The ST report said he was believed to have been designated as a successor of Isnilon Hapilon, named as head of IS' Southeast Asia wing.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has unilaterally declared an 8-hour truce in the besieged southern Philippine city of Marawi starting at 6 a.m.local time on Sunday, a military spokesman announced.
Further raising concern in the Philippines and regionally, another militant group, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (Biff), staged a surprise raid earlier this week on a village 190km south of Marawi, underscoring the challenge of reining in the spread of Islamic militants in the southern Philippines.
Troops are seeking the help of villagers to pinpoint the exact spot where Mahmud was reportedly buried, Ano said.
Fighting broke out in the city on May 23 when militants occupied many facilities and houses in the city, prompting the military to launch a counter offensive.
Teen accidentally shot by deputies fending off dog
The incident occurred about 3:47 a.m. and the boy, identified by his aunt as Armando Garcia, died at 4:28 a.m.at a local hospital. According to the Los Angeles Times , upon arrival, one of the deputies was attacked and bitten in the leg by a pitbull.
"We have prevented the establishment of this wilayat and we have now entered into agreements and also with the neighboring countries so that this will not recur", said Presidential spokesperson Usec. "He is still alive".
Philippine security forces are in the process of verifying information that alleges 89 foreign militants, including three Bangladeshis, were on the island of Mindanao in the country, the Philippine Star reported on Saturday.
Abella added that the Philippines were making a collective effort to tackle extremism through trilateral cooperation with Indonesia and Malaysia.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, during a phone conversation with President Duterte, has reaffirmed Indonesia's commitment to help the Philippines fight terrorism in Mindanao.
On Friday, Galvez said troops recovered two decomposing corpses that bore features of people from the Middle East.
Australia said Friday it will send two high-tech spy planes to help Filipino troops fight the militants, joining the U.S. which has also provided similar help.
He also said that less than 30 militants were killed while less than 100 of around 500 combined fighters of the "Dawlah Islamiyah or Islamic State" were also treated after being wounded in various clashes.