By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte on Thursday expressed confidence that the ongoing armed conflict in the war-torn city of Marawi in Lanao del Sur will be over in just a few days.
In his speech at the Philippine National Police-Police Regional Office (PNP-PRO) XI at Camp Quintin M. Merecido, Catitipan, Buhangin, Davao City, Duterte said there is nothing to worry about because the government is winning the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).
“But the way it’s evolving now, I think that it will be [over in] a matter of days,” Duterte said Thursday night.
“Before the end of the month, matatapos na ‘yan. We are winning the war. Do not worry,” he added.
Duterte also said that he is praying to see the end of the Marawi crisis soon as he knows that government troops are now also tired.
“I hope that this fight would not last for another month. Pagod na ang mga sundalo (My soldiers are now tired),” he said.
The ISIS-inspired Maute group placed Marawi City under siege since May 23, 2017 prompting President Duterte to cut short his official visit to Russia and place Mindanao under martial law for 60 days.
Since then, a total of 44 civilians were reported by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to have been killed by the terrorists as of Wednesday night.
The AFP also reported that a total of 75 government troopers were killed-in-action while the number of terrorists killed rose to 303.
As the Marawi siege entered its second month, a total of 362 firearms were recovered by the military, while 1,711 civilians have been rescued during military clearing operations.