With Marawi siege over, bishop has mixed feelings
The military’s declaration of the end of the months-long Marawi City siege has drawn mixed emotions for Marawi Bishop Edwin dela Peña.
The prelate said he felt both happy and sad that the clashes between the government troops and the Maute terrorist group are now over.
“I am happy that the siege is over and people can go back to their respective places. The rehabilitation of the city can proceed at a dizzying pace hopefully,” he said on Monday.
“Sad also because there is practically no house to go home to for the Marawi residents, including us at St. Mary’s Cathedral. It’s going to be traumatic for some to see their former homes uninhabitable,” he said.
Dela Peña said most of the residents’ houses were destroyed by the violent gun battles since May, when the militants launched the siege.
The prelate made the remarks after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced the termination of military operations in Marawi City against the Maute terrorist group.
This was after 42 terrorists were killed and government troops regained control of the mosque where the Maute group made their last stand.
Fr. Jerome Secillano of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said the government should consider lifting the martial law in Mindanao, which is still in effect until Dec. 31.
“It’s high time that martial law in Mindanao be lifted, because the very reason for it, the Marawi siege, has ended. The President is duty bound to do it Asap,” he said on the Church-run Radio Veritas.
Secillano is the executive secretary of the CBCP’s permanent committee on public affairs.
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