MANILA—As government forces conduct operations to dislodge Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) announced its willingness to provide relief aid and services to communities affected by the fighting.
“We recognize the ability of the Regional Government (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) to address the evolving situation in Marawi City. The National Government through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is closely monitoring the situation. We are prepared to respond should the resources of the National Government be called into service,” OCD officer-in-charge Assistant Secretary Kristoffer James E. Purisima said in a statement Thursday.
Incidentally, the NDRRMC Core Group on Wednesday convened to discuss appropriate measures for Marawi City incident at the NDRRM Operations Center, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
The meeting was chaired by Purisima and attended by Civil Defense Deputy Administrator for Operations Assistant Secretary Rodolfo Demosthenes C. Santillan and representatives from Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, Department of Foreign Affairs, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and OCD.
Purisima said the OCD is continuously monitoring the incident gearing up for response efforts in the affected communities.
As of 3 p.m., the NDRRM Operations Center has raised its alert status to blue and all OCD Regional Offices in Mindanao is on red alert status.
Last May 23, a battle between government troops and members of the Maute Group, allied with Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, took place in Barangay Basak Malutlut, Marawi City.
In the ensuing firefight, around five soldiers were killed and 31 other wounded. Maute Group losses were placed at 13 killed with two recovered bodies.
Clearing operations are still ongoing as of this posting.