Military plays key role in Marawi rehab: AFP chief

MANILA -- Aside from winning the fight against the Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) plays a key role in the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate and reconstruct the war-torn city.

"The role of the military as far as rebuilding Marawi is concerned is two folds, one is the maintenance of security and peace and order and the other is the support that we can provide as far as rebuilding and recovery efforts are concerned," AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in a press briefing in Marawi Wednesday.

By support, the AFP chief was referring to ongoing clearing operations in the so-called Main Battle Area, recovering cadavers and unexploded ordnance left by the Maute terrorists.

Military units in Marawi City are also helping in the post-conflict needs assessment being conducted by Joint Task Force "Bangon Marawi" headed by Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council headed by Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, Guerrero added.

"Just recently our ground commander (1st Infantry Division commander) Brig. Gen. Rosseler Murillo has already (given) the go-signal for our teams, post conflict needs assessment teams to enter the area for them to be able to conduct their business," the AFP chief added.

An estimated 933 Maute Group terrorists and their allies were reported killed in the five-month campaign to retake the city from the lawless elements.

On the other hand, 165 government troops and 47 civilians were also killed in the conflict which started after security operatives tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS emir in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, last May 23.

Fighting was only declared over after the military confirmed the death of Hapilon and Maute Group co-founder Omar Maute last October 23.

Source: Philippine News Agency