PALO, Leyte — Foreign envoys lauded Filipino soldiers who fought to liberate Marawi from the hands of ISIS-inspired Maute members and expressed readiness to help rebuild the war-torn city.
Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes, on the sidelines of the 73rd Leyte Gulf Landings on Friday, said that while he is saddened by the Marawi crisis, he “salutes the brave soldiers”.
“Our hearts go out to all of the victims of Marawi City and all of the brave soldiers who lost their lives and to all their families,” Holmes said.
The ambassador said his country is ready to assist in the recovery of Marawi if the government would ask for it and will continue to support the financial aid program for the Mindanao Trust Fund.
United States Embassy deputy chief of mission Michael Klecheski said that although American soldiers extended technical support to the war in Marawi, the credit goes to Filipino soldiers.
“It was your victory and we’re proud and glad for you,” he added.
Klecheski told reporters they have initial coordination with the Philippine government on the recovery program for Marawi.
“It’s too early to say what kind of recovery assistance we will extend since the government is still working on the plan,” he said.
On October 17, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi from the terrorists. He said the proclamation marks the beginning of rehabilitation after five months of fighting in the city.