Following the day after the top terrorist leaders of Marawi siege, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed in a military assault, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte(PRRD), declared the liberation of Marawi from the control of terrorists.
“I hereby declare Marawi city liberated from the terrorist influence… that marks the beginning of rehabilitation,” said Duterte.
The president also commended the valor of the troops as they braved the dangers posed by gun fires and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in fighting against the terrorists and in rescuing hostages.
Symbolizing the achievement of victory against the terrorists, the President led the raising of the Philippine flag held at the Jamiatul Philippine Al-Islamia campus, located at the main battle area.
Ending of Crisis
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Eduardo Año said in a press conference on Monday that “the Marawi crisis will be over–sooner than later. The resistance of–or what is left of it— the terrorists will crumble.”
Meanwhile, Col Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Joint Task Force Ranao, said that the death of terrorist leaders led to the declaration of Marawi’s liberation as they are the “center of gravity, they are the ones who are binding Maute-ISIS together.”
“It [the declaration] is a strategic message to tell the world na tapos na itong problema sa Maute-ISIS [that the problem with Maute-ISIS is over], na they cannot be victorious anymore. Patapos na po [This is about to end.],” said Brawner.
Beginning of Rehabilitation
Brawner also asked the residents of the Marawi City to be patient as clearing operations of the area are being conducted.
“We will rescue remaining hostages and make sure na wala ng stragglers na naiiwan at mga IEDs [that there will be no longer stragglers and IEDs in the area].. tuloy na pa tayo [we are ready for] sa next phase which is the rehabilitation,” Brawner said.
Brawner also shared that the cleanup drive ‘Brigada Marawi’ has began last week.
The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams will also check and remove remained IEDs.
Meanwhile, Post Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) teams composed of various national and local government agencies had begun their assessment on the damages in 24 barangays in Marawi City.
The results of the data analysis, consolidation, and report development of the assessment is to be completed before October ends.(LEAntonio-PIA ILIGAN/LDN)