AFP: No end to Marawi crisis before Duterte Sona
The military on Friday said the Marawi crisis would not be over before the second State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 24.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Restituto Padilla Jr. said the government would need 10 to 15 more days to regain control of buildings in Marawi City occupied by the Maute terrorists.
Padilla said about 600 buildings have yet to be cleared in Marawi City, with the military clearing an average of 40 to 50 buildings a day so far.
“Yeah, so we are right into the 10 to 15 days of the President. But the 10 to 15 days is beyond the Sona, by the way, so don’t expect it to be before the Sona,” he said during the Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañang.
On Wednesday, Duterte said he needed 15 more days to solve the Marawi crisis, a self-imposed deadline which may go beyond the 60-day limit of his martial law in Mindanao, which expires on July 22.
But Padilla was mum whether the military would recommend the extension of martial law given the situation in Marawi City.
“Right now, the assessment is on its concluding stage and will be given to the Chief of Staff who will then do his vetting on the recommendation and eventually submitted to the Secretary of National Defense for submission to the Commander-in-Chief,” he said.
“The Secretary is the administrator of martial law and will necessarily have to have his inputs into the document,” he added.
Duterte, who earlier said that he will not lift martial law before his second Sona, said he will wait for the military’s recommendation whether to extend the declaration or not.
As of 7 p.m. on July 14, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said 392 terrorists have been killed while 93 government forces have died in the battle. Abella added that 45 civilians died in the clash that started on May 23 after Islamic State-inspired members of the Maute Group attacked Marawi City in a bid to establish a caliphate there. IDL
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