MANILA — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on October 17, 2017, declared that Marawi City has been liberated from terrorists after more than four months of battle against the ISIS-inspired Maute group.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence that marks the beginning of rehabilitation for the people,” the Chief Executive said in his speech in Marawi City a day after Maute terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were neutralized by government troops.
“‘Wag na natin itong ulitin kailanman. Sa panahon ko, hindi ako papayag. Government must have access dito sa loob,” he added.
In his seventh visit to the Islamic City, the Commander-in-Chief also expressed gratitude to the government troops.
At the same time, he lauded the military and the police for their bravery.
“Maraming salamat at maligaya kaming mga Pilipino sa inyo. Mabuhay! Mabuhay! Mabuhay ang Armed Forces pati police! Matatapang, lalo na sa babae,” Duterte said.
The President also expressed concern for the government’s security forces who were wounded.
“Mga minahal kong sundalo, pulis, ang problema ko ang nasugatan ngayon. Marami ‘yan. ‘Yung iba nabaldado,” he said.
“I can guarantee you. Sinasabi ko na sa inyo ngayon, walang iwanan. Ipupwesto ko silang lahat,” the President said.
Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including more than 800 enemies, 47 civilians, and 163 government troops since the rebellion started in May.