Be vigilant to prevent repeat of Marawi siege: DND chief

MANILA While Maute-ISIS terrorists have been decisively beaten in the five-month battle to retake Marawi City, government forces must remain vigilant to prevent another similar incident.

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana emphasized this during the Battle of Marawi commemoration program last week.

"In no time, Marawi will rise again and peace and development will once again rule this city. In no time, the city will be healed and the people will dance again and laugh again. But to be safe, we must still remain vigilant because terrorists are just lurking in the shadows," he added. The Battle for Marawi City started May 23, 2017 and ended on October the same year.

"The concrete jungle of Marawi brought out many stories of gallantry, true courage, dedication of our troops; and that of resilience of Marawi residents these stories shed light during the city's darkest times. Marawi Siege also strengthened us as a nation as diverse as we are, we were unified by our desire to stop the spread of extremists' gospel of hate and anger," the DND chief added.

Around 165 soldiers and police officers were killed in the bloody fighting which started May 23, 2017 and ended on October of that year.

While an estimated 1,000 Maute-ISIS Group terrorists, including then ISIS Emir in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, and Maute co-founder, Omar Maute, were killed in the government offensive.

"Though we have accomplished much in our counter-terrorism efforts for the past year, these endeavors still require continued perseverance, vigilance, and sacrifice of everyone for the years to come," Lorenzana concluded. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency