MANILAMalacaAang on Wednesday paid tribute anew to fallen soldiers, exactly one year after President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi City liberated from terrorist influence.
Today we commemorate the liberation of Marawi from the malevolent hands of terrorists, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
As we celebrate the triumphs of our government troops against the Daesh-inspired Maute rebels, we pay tribute to those who have fallen in the fierce battles during the siege of Marawi and gave the ultimate sacrifice to make our nation safer and more secure, he added.
Panelo said the liberation of Marawi conveyed one strong message that Filipino people "stand will unceasingly stand united against the evils of terrorism.
A total of 168 government troops were reportedly killed during the five-month armed conflict that reduced a once vibrant Islamic city in ruins.
The battle for Marawi also left over 900 militants dead, including their leaders Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon.
The deaths of Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon have thwarted the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the area and curbed the possibility of the rebellion from spreading to other parts of the country, Panelo said.
Despite this feat, Panelo said the government and its armed forces will remain vigilant in the midst of quiet for possible terrorist threats that may again strike our nation.
Panelo assured that the government will remain committed to rebuild the war-torn city through the Task Force Bangon Marawi, which was created through Administrative Order No. 3 issued by Duterte.
Various agencies converged with the aim of easing the sufferings of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and helping them begin rebuilding their lives, their homes, and their communities, Panelo said.
He expressed optimism that through unity and cooperation of everyone, Marawi will rise again as one of the peaceful and prosperous cities in Mindanao.
Efforts to build a vibrant and prosperous Marawi from the rubbles of war and conflict will soon come into fruition as we expect the groundbreaking of reconstruction activities, designed with due recognition of the cultural sensitivities of its residents, by the end of the month. We therefore ask everyone to remain fully supportive of the government's initiatives in this regard, he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency