The Daily Manila Shimbun


Police, soldiers cleaning up Marawi City

August 21, 2017

Around 80 soldiers and policemen were deployed all over Marawi City for a week now to start cleaning the grimy and ruined streets of the besieged city.

Armed with stick brooms, grass cutters, bolo and white wash (for painting), the security personnel roamed around streets in the city in areas already declared "cleared" of enemy presence, the Western Mindanao Command said in a statement on Monday.

Roads in Brgy Emie, Matampay, Sarimanok, Marawi and Malalat were the target areas of the clean up drive initiated by the Joint Task Force Tabang headed by Col Thomas Sedano.

Using available Civil Military Operations units, the group were successful in tidying what was left of the fighting after Daesh-inspired terror group Maute stormed and destroyed the city since May this year.

"We will do it little by little since we lack manpower for the purpose, however, we will make sure that these streets will not look as grubby and filthy as how it appeared to be before we started cleaning up," said Sedano.

"Our primary intention is to avoid an epidemic that could plague our communities by the time residents of Marawi will be allowed to come back."

A clean-up drive for religious icons such as mosques was launched early today at Brgy Lilod, Tulali, Marawi City.

Around 15 policemen and a team of soldiers cleaned and made minor repairs of the Saad Huzam Almusairi Masjid located at said Brgy.

The activity is an initiative of the Joint Task Group PNP headed by its Commander Police Senior Superintendent Rolando Anduyan.

Also present during the launching was Police Superintendent Filmore Abdusalam Calib, the deputy battalion commander of RPSB, ARMM.

"We deployed our Maranao policemen for this purpose to specifically address cultural sensitivity issues," said Anduyan added. "They are the proper persons who know how to do the job without violating religious practices and beliefs."

Joint Task Force Marawi Commander Brigadier General Joselito Bautista said: "We will continue doing this in partnership with the police so that mosques that have been preserved will be able to cater Moslem believers immediately by the time we give a green light for soldiers to go back to their homes."

"The next in line for clearing are mosques inside the main battle area," Bautista added.

As fighting continues in downtown Marawi, thousands of soldiers and policemen are also engaged in different rehabilitation projects that are already underway.

"Your uniformed troops will be continually involved in rehabilitation activities within and outside Marawi City," said Lieutenant General Carlito G Galvez, Jr., commander of the Western Mindanao Command.

"We know that people are already asking when they can come back to their homes, we hope they will understand that their soldiers and policemen are doing our best to finish the fighting the soonest so that they can go home finally." DMS