MANILA — Military engineering units are at the forefront of the debris clearing operation in Marawi City, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said Wednesday.
“Right now, we have also our engineers here in the area (Marawi City), composed of Army, Air Force and Navy engineers (who) are also undertaking debris clearing in the most-affected areas,” Guerrero said during a press briefing in Marawi.
The AFP chief noted that since the clearing operations began on Oct. 23, the engineering units have recovered 77 assorted firearms, believed to be owned by the Maute Group terrorists, and 11 cadavers, which are undergoing DNA testing and swabbing for identification purposes.
The AFP is also tasked to maintain security in Marawi and clear the area of cadavers and unexploded ordnance left by the Maute Group terrorists, he added.
Fighting in Marawi City began after government troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS “Emir” in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, last May 23.
It was only declared over when authorities positively identified Hapilon and Omar Maute, a co-founder of the Maute Group, as among the estimated 920 terrorists killed in the five-month military campaign.