Exact cost of Marawi City devastation to be known next week

MANILA-- Exact damages in Marawi City caused by heavy fighting between government and Maute Group terrorists will be known next week.

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in a press briefing Tuesday.

"(Exact magnitude of the destruction) and how much money (needed for the rehabilitation) will be determined once post-conflict assessment (will be finished) next week," he said in Filipino.

Lorenzana said that agencies involved in this phase include the Department of Energy, various engineering brigades of the military, and Local Water Utilities Administration.

Once these organizations have completed their report can only a complete picture and cost of the devastation will be known, the DND chief added.

Lorenzana, however, said that damage seems to be confined in Marawi City's Banggolo Commercial District where the remaining Maute Group terrorists have holed up.

"The peripheries (of Marawi City) seemed to lightly damage (compared to Banggolo which is subject to bombing and other heavy attacks)," he disclosed.

When asked on whether they are recommending for an extension of martial law in Mindanao, the DND chief said they will know this in a couple of weeks.

"We will make our own recommendation, we are still studying the situation on the ground not only in Lanao Del Sur (and) Marawi, but all over Mindanao," he noted.

Fighting with the Maute Group terrorists started shortly after attempts by the military to apprehend Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, a staunch ally of the lawless elements, last May 23.

As of this posting, the number of Maute Group terrorists neutralized is placed at 337 with 82 government troops killed and 44 civilians executed.

Source: Philippines News Agency