The Daily Manila Shimbun


Military will not stop air strikes in Marawi: spokesman

June 7, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it will not stop air strikes in Marawi City despite a call by residents and local government officials as it pursues the Islamic State-led Maute Terror Group, its spokesman said Wednesday. "We appeal to the people of Marawi, to those who have continuously given their word and their request for us to stop it. I have to pass this along because our troops clearly need to judiciously use force because of a stiffer kind of resistance from the inner enclaves of the city," said Brigadier General Restituto Padilla Jr in the “Mindanao Hour” briefing in Malacanang. "We feel the pain, we feel the hurt of every member or every citizen or every resident of Marawi," Padilla said. Padilla stressed the military did not start the problem in Marawi. "Let us remember that we did not start this from happening. It was the armed group, the Maute-ISIS…that entered your city to wreak havoc on it," he said. He said the government forces have been working hard to liberate Marawi as soon as possible. "We do not want this to drag on and we would like to bring back Marawi to its previous state…it’s an economic center…where people converge," he said. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao due to the Marawi crisis, which started on May 23. The military is also asking the help of the banking sector regarding the huge amount of money and checks recovered in a structure in Marawi City. "As to the owner or the actual existence of this cash, this is yet to be determined and an investigation will be forthcoming," said Padilla. "We have asked for the assistance of the banking sector, the Department of Finance and the Central Bank to get down to the root of why there is cash in there and where it was taken from or withdrawn and where it could be possibly used," he said. Government troopers had recovered a total of P75.9 million cash and checks last Monday when they were conducting house-to-house clearing in Marawi. Celerina Monte/DMS