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More surgical airstrikes necessary to clear Marawi of Maute — military

Updated

By Francis Wakefield

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday assured that it is their desire to clear Marawi City of the presence of terrorists in the soonest possible time, thus the need for more surgical airstrikes.

In a statement, AFP spokesman Brig.Gen. Restituto Padilla said as much as they would like to avoid collateral damage, the rebels are forcing the hand of government by hiding and holding out inside private homes, government buildings and other facilities.

An OB-10 plane of the Armed Foces of the Philippines launches an air strike to key barangays in Marawi City to flush out remaining memebrs of the terrorist Maute group, May 27, 2017. (Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

An OB-10 plane of the Armed Foces of the Philippines launches an air strike to key barangays in Marawi City to flush out remaining memebrs of the terrorist Maute group, May 27, 2017.
(Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Their refusal to surrender is holding the city captive. Hence, it is now increasingly becoming necessary to use more surgical airstrikes to clear the city and to bring this rebellion to a quicker end,” Padilla said.

“We desire to free Marawi City of these evil forces and make way for a peaceful Ramadan for our citizens there who have supported our efforts,” he added.

Padilla, at the same time, appealed for understanding as the military takes the necessary steps to accomplish its mission and prevent the loss of more innocent lives and damage to private and public property.

At least 40 Maute Group members have already been killed as a result of the airstrikes. No civilians were hurt during the military operations.

Meanwhile, the AFP Western Mindanao Command (WestMinCom), said all its personnel in Western Mindanao were ordered to carry out security measures to ensure that the vicinity of mosques (masjids) will be secured and that the Islamic faithfuls are free to go there to exercise their religion.”

AFP WestMinCom chief Lieutenant General Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., said as fighting continues in Marawi, their units are constrained to launch airstrikes in identified specific targets occupied by the Maute/ISIS terrorist group.

“The terrorists actions prevent their fellow Muslims to peacefully and solemnly observe Ramadan by continuing to occupy buildings and structures in Marawi City. They serve to impede our troops in restoring peace and order in the City,” Galvez said.

“These terrorists’ atrocities continue to sow terror and confusion even to non-combatant Muslims and Christians. Establishments are not operational and government services are unavailable causing extreme deprivation and hardships to the people,” he added.

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  • tarikan

    May isang journalist na nagreport: Gov’t. jets are pounding the terrorists lair. Ito siguro ang OB-10 ang sinasabing nyang jet. Hindi ito jet, turbo-prop ito…propeller driven.

  • Harold Rosales

    We knew that ISIS was able to recruit some local folks of Marawi City. First, you cannot control the City, if you have the number of 100 only. This means, ISIS could be a number of a thousand for them to control many Barangays.

    If you analyse the local recruits of Marawi City , these guys will not join ISIS unless, a sum of money is at stake.

    The root cause of the problem is socio, political and cultural. We are concern because the Maranao love to display streamers as proud clans/families, when somebody was promoted in government service, hurdle the board exam and many other achievements.

    These incidents lessens the lifestyle achievements of the Maranao for they are business oriented Filipinos.

    If ISIS ideology was able to penetrate the minds of a number of Maranao, then we have a very serious internal problem and we have to combat the same through education and lift them-out of poverty.

    I cannot imagine the best school in Mindanao, the Mindanao State University that every Maranao could take advantage of.

    We are concern that ISIS penetrated Marawi City, It is the home of the lake people, a haven of blessing with bountiful resources that Lake Lanao can produce for the benefit of the people.

    MSU may conduct a very intensive research and apply Data Management Processes for us to come-up with a surgical decision and find the solution.

    The Government’s on-going offensive is maybe temporary that can cripple the organization but there is still a probability for these ISIS guys will prosper again in the near future. How come a rebellious behavioural consequences became a product of some people.

    For our future, address the cause of poverty and a good governance in serving the people. Education will always be the main priority.