AFP chief sees end of Marawi conflict before he retires next month
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Año said on Monday he hopes to end the Marawi conflict before his retirement next month.
“Matatapos ‘yan bago ako mag-retire. Nasa final phase na tayo, finishing touches kaya nga medyo matindi ‘yung labanan dun,” he told reporters at the sidelines of the turnover of Northern Luzon Command leadership in Tarlac City.
He said government troops cleared several buildings on Sunday without a soldier killed in action. Fourteen soldiers were wounded, however.
“Hindi naman mga malala yung mga tama ng tropa natin. Ang nag re-repositioning ‘yung mga kalaban natin at do or die na sila. We will not stop, tatapusin natin ito,” Año said.
The AFP chief will reach the mandatory retirement age of 56 on October 26.
The three-month gunbattle in Marawi City between security forces and Maute group has left 145 troops and 639 terrorists killed as of Monday. Forty-five civilians have been killed.
The AFP chief said that they will make sure that there will be no crisis similar to Marawi that will happen to other parts of the country.
“Ang lesson learned na importante dito, unang-una kailangan magtulungan lahat — sambayanan, government, concerned citizens — kasi hindi magta-thrive ang terrorism kung lahat ay involved,” he said.
“Kung nagpa-function ang local government at may concert ang mga nakatira dun, sana nakapag-report sila, nakagawa tayo ng mga kaukulang aksyon at hindi na sana umabot sa ganitong gulo o krisis ang nangyari sa Marawi. But magandang lesson ‘yan, so ngayon nakita natin yung suporta na ibinibigay ng sambayanang Pilipino,” Año said. je
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