Following the death of terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute in a military assault, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday the liberation of Marawi City, after four months of combat against Islamic State-linked terrorists that left more than 1,000 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence that marks the beginning of rehabilitation of the city,” Duterte said.
The conflict, which is considered the biggest security challenge the government had to face in years, broke out May 23 and prompted the president to declare martial law in Mindanao.
The terrorist occupation of Marawi left cultural centers in ruins, with buildings burned to the ground or damaged due to firefights.
More than 400,000 residents from Marawi and nearby towns were displaced and crammed in evacuation centers and temporary shelters.
Rejecting possible negotiations with the terror group, Duterte has kept the morale of state troops, visiting Marawi and camps around the area several times throughout the crisis.
Duterte has ordered the creation of a task force for the rehabilitation of the city and nearby areas late June with an initial budget of P20B and the government has estimated the rebuilding for of the city to take around 2-3 years.
Image / Video: PTV News