The Daily Manila Shimbun


Lorenzana says combat operations in Marawi are over

October 23, 2017

CLARK, Pampanga -- A week after the liberation of Marawi was declared by President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of National Defense (DND) formally announced the termination of combat operation in the city on Monday. “After 154 days of the siege of Marawi by the Daesh inspired Maute ISIS group or after week after the Commander In Chief declared the liberation of Marawi, we now announce the termination of all combat operations in Marawi,” DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in an ambush interview during the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting here. “The Philippines security forces meaning the military, the armed forces and the police, headed by its government and the massive support of the Filipino have nipped the building infrastructure and defeated terrorism in the Philippines,” he added. Lorenzana said government forces cleared the whole city from the presence of terrorist and all the hostages were recovered. “No more hostages. So all the hostages have been recovered a couple of days back,” he said. “No more, there are no more militants inside Marawi City,” he added. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Ano said the last fighting occurred in a mosque within the city. “Well after the announcement of the president (of the) liberation of Marawi last October 17 we conducted mopping up operation and the presence of the Maute ISIS are confined into two big buildings, one of them is a mosque and actually that is where the last fighting occurred,” he said. Major. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said the fighting in the area started since the liberation of the city as declared by President Rodrigo Duterte until early Monday morning. “The fighting started since the declaration of the liberation, it continued until this early morning,” he said. Ano said the military forces have recovered a total of 42 cadavers within and in the vicinity of the buildings after the clashes. “That is also the place where we rescued additional hostages and in that fighting we gave a chance for these militants and terrorists to surrender but they fought to the last breath so we cannot do anything and when we counted a total 42 Maute ISIS terrorists were killed, along with them are two wives of the terrorists who also fought the government troops,” he said. Ano also confirmed there are foreigners among the 42 terrorists that were recovered by government forces. “We accounted foreign terrorists, at that time there are five, they are part of the 42 so we are very confident that no one had escape,” he said. Lorenzana also emphasized the importance of the neutralization of the terrorist in the country. “In crushing thus far the most serious attempt to export violent extremism and radicalism in the Philippines and in the region we have contributed to preventing its spread in Asia and gave our share to maintaining global peace, stability, and security,” Lorenzana said. “While we submit that these tactical and strategic gains will not annihilate the ideology completely, we declare that this achievement is clear manifestation of how our regional cooperation can lead to a decisive advance against the proliferation of terrorism in this part of the world,” he added. Lorenzana also expressed gratitude to the countries that helped the Philippine government fight against the terrorists in the city and in southern Philippines. “We’d like to thank the nations that helped us, China, United States, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, also Brunei also helped and Singapore,” he said. “We hope that this operational achievement in Marawi in the Philippines will be the catalyst that shall bring to the fore future cooperation and partnerships not only against terrorism but also those that shall defeat other regional and global security threats,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS