Lanao del Sur
October 17, 2017

“Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from terrorist influence. That marks the beginning of rehabilitation,” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in a speech before government troops during his visit in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur.

The President’s announcement came after government forces successfully eliminated Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) sub-leader and alleged emir of Islamic State (IS) in Southeast Asia Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute of Lanao del Sur’s Maute terrorist clan, in a military operation in Marawi City on October 16, 2017.

President Duterte stressed the government would not celebrate the successful liberation in Marawi, saying the prolonged conflict has resulted in the destruction of the city which was home to 200,000 displaced individuals.

The President also apologized to those affected by the conflict and said that the government’s next step is to help displaced individuals recover and to rehabilitate their city.

As of October 16, 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines reported that 824 terrorists were killed, 827 firearms were recovered, and 1,771 hostages were rescued since the start of the fighting in Marawi City on May 23, 2017. On the other hand, government forces have suffered 162 casualties and 1,000 others have been wounded in action.

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