MANILA — No victory celebration of any kind will be held once the remaining Maute Group terrorists are eliminated from Marawi City, President Rodrigo Duterte told troops engaged in the ongoing clearing operations in the city during his visit Thursday.
“He (Duterte) also told troops that the end is near and they should persevere further in their efforts to totally liberate the city from the terrorists. And once this is accomplished, he does not want any celebration or party as those killed are also Filipinos,” Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said Friday.
Año said that instead of celebrations, the President wants the military to ensure the security of those involved in the city’s rehabilitation so that reconstruction could be conducted without any threat from lawless elements.
Duterte also lauded the troops for their recent successes, especially the recapture of the Bato Mosque and Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation and the rescue of Father Chito Soganob and other hostages, the AFP chief added.
Fighting in Marawi City, currently on its fourth month, erupted after an attempt to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader, Isnilon Hapilon, and his cohorts last May 23. (PNA)