The Daily Manila Shimbun


Marawi situation under control but challenged in regaining control of installations: AFP

May 24, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is facing challenges on recovering the installations occupied by the local terrorist group in Marawi City. “Our situation in Marawi City is under control overall. Our security forces are already there. The challenge to us here is how we can recover the installations that they have reportedly occupied and they have snipers deployed in the area that is why we have to be very careful,” AFP Public Affair Chief Col. Edgard Arevalo told reporters in Camp Emilio Aguinaldo Wednesday. “That is why the forces that we deployed there are the special units because we have to counter this positions and we need to recover these areas,” he added. Arevalo did not say what these installations are. In a statement, Department of National Defense (DND) Public Affairs Service Chief Dir. Arsenio Andolong said as part of the military operation, additional forces were deployed to augment government forces in Marawi. “Rest assured that the situation in Marawi City is already contained. With the deployment of additional forces, it is only a matter of time before we take all these evil doers down,” he said. Arevalo did not say how many troops that were deployed to Marawi but he said additional military personnel were mobilized since Tuesday night. “For security reasons, I cannot tell you the exact number. What can I tell you is they are coming from different parts of the country. We have been mobilizing them since last night, so even as we speak the deployment is continues,” he said. Andolong  emphasized the importance of the declaration of Martial law in Mindanao which was announced by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday night. “The imposition of martial law in Mindanao is a necessary step in order for government security forces to stop the threats that these terrorists pose, who are mostly not originally from Marawi,” he said. “The president’s verbal declaration is valid, and as such martial law has been in effect since 10 pm last night. We emphasize, however, that martial law does not suspend the Constitution but authorizes the Armed Forces of the Philippines to take over law enforcement operations from the Philippine National Police, and conduct arrests and searches in accordance with the rule of law and human rights,” he added. Andolong also called on the public to cooperate with the security forces of the government on its fight against the local terrorist group. “Lastly, we appeal to the public to help our troops on the ground and counter the misinformation campaign from terrorist supporters by being very selective and responsible in sharing critical information on new media and other platforms. It is better to report any suspicious activities in your areas directly to the proper authorities,” he said. “What is happening in the city of Marawi and Mindanao is another challenge that we can overcome together. We must stand united against a common enemy- terrorists and the fear they want to sow among the innocent,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS