The Daily Manila Shimbun


AFP explains to Duterte delay in clearing Marawi

September 13, 2017

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) explained to President Rodrigo Duterte the reason why it is taking a long time to complete its operation in Marawi.

Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Chief, said during his recent visit in Marawi, “our president was given operational updates, on the current situation, when it started and then the phases of the operation, what are our gains up to the time of the briefing.

“One of the highlights there is when a video footage of the actual conduct of operation was showed to the president, so our president appreciates the difficulties experienced by our troops and the threat that they are facing as well as why this (operation) has to take this long,” he added.

“He expressed appreciation on the heroism of our troops,” he said.

Arevalo said the operation against the Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in Marawi was being delayed because of the hostages and improvised bombs laid by the enemies.

“Our president said if saving at least a life of one of the hostages would translate into a longer duration so be it. The life of the hostages are important for him,” he said.

When asked about the guidance of Duterte to the government troops, Arevalo said “his guidance is (to) finish the combat operation the soonest time possible without undue disregard on the welfare of the hostages and the soldiers.”

“The objective is for us to be able to begin the reconstruction, rehabilitation of Marawi because the heavy equipment needed by the AFP were brought there through our navy vessel. So is our objective to immediately start to alleviate the suffering of our fellow Filipinos in Marawi,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS