Philippines

Duterte hopes to end Marawi siege soon

Speaking to a large crowd in Dumaguete City during Friday evening’s opening ceremonies of the Buglasan Festival of Negros Oriental, the President talked about terrorism, specifically what had happened in Marawi City, as he announced that “we anticipate another assault” against the Maute Group who are still holed out there.

“We are now into the fourth month of fighting but hopefully it will be soon,” said President Duterte.

He disclosed he will be going there again somehow in a few days “ug matapos na unta na” (and hopefully it will end), as he described the country’s fight against terrorism “very much like that in the Middle East”, saying that has slowed down the resolution of the Marawi City siege.

Speaking alternately in English and the Cebuano dialect, the former Davao mayor stressed that he has lost many troops because of sniper fire from the terrorists who have maintained a vantage point against government forces.“Nganong

Nganong nadugay kay ang away diha (why has it dragged on… because the fight there) is very much like what is happening in the Middle East. Syria and Iraq are in shambles. Mosul and Aleppo, and to this day, sige pa sila ug away (the fighting continues) because there is a new development and it is urban terrorism”, Duterte pointed out.

Nakapuwesto na sila sa mga building, ang ilang armas naa na sa underground (they have pre-positioned themselves in buildings and their arms are underground) and they have the strategic point”, he said.

Mao ng daghan kong patay nga mga sundalo kay ang ilang mga snipers nakapuwesto ug ilang gipalibutan ang lugar tanan ug IED (that’s why a lot of soldiers were killed because their snipers have pre-positioned themselves and all areas were bordered by IEDs)”, he added.

Many casualties on the government side were not from armed confrontation but by terrorist snipers, he pointed.

Duterte said he is praying that the Marawi conflict will soon come to an end so that the country can move on.e promised that he will leave a “very strong military and police” when his term has ended.

He promised that he will leave a “very strong military and police” when his term has ended.

Paghawa nako (when I leave), hopefully… kelan yan ewan ko (when, I don’t know), but sana (hopefully) before I leave I would be able to leave behind and very strong and well-equipped police and military men because terrorism will not disappear.

“We anticipate another assault, maybe this time (in) two or three other places in the Philippines. But we are prepared. We are not ill-prepared. And it’s gonna be a long haul for all of us”, he stressed.

According to him, he has told the government troops to approach with caution the remaining terrorists in Marawi to avoid unnecessary destruction of property in that besieged city.

“I’ve always cautioned them, kung maari lang (if possible), not to destroy the mosques, the shrines, to minimize… to do everything even at a great expense of lives na malibre ang mga hostages (so that hostages will be freed)”, the President said.

Duterte, assisted by Gov. Roel Degamo led the awarding of Outstanding Oriental Negrenses, namely, Posthumous Award for Law and Jurisprudence to Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Felix V. Makasiar (and was received by his daughter, Mrs. Cynthia Makasiar-Sikat); and for Science and Environment, Dr. Hilconida

Calumpong, who heads the Silliman University Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences.

The President also invited local singers Cristiani B. Rebada and Hannah Korin D. Castillo, who gave a song rendition during the Buglasan Festival opening program, to visit Malacañang.

Aside from Degamo, Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo and a majority of the mayors in Negros Oriental were on hand to receive the President.

Also present were Vice Gov. Mark Macias, provincial board members, barangay chairpersons, heads of national government agencies and representatives from various sectors. (PNA)

 

Max Surban

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