Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 17) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared Marawi is free from “terrorist influence,” as military operations continue to ensure all terrorists have been flushed out.
“I hereby declare Marawi City liberated from the terrorist influence that marks the beginning of rehabilitation of Marawi,” the President said in a visit to Marawi.
The military clarified the war is not over yet, but it will only take “a matter of days.”
“(The) declaration of the liberation of Marawi is a strategic statement, meaning it’s a message that we want to tell the world, that tapos na po itong problema ng Maute-ISIS (that the Maute-ISIS problem is over). They cannot be victorious anymore. Wala na po, patapos na po (It’s about to be over),” said Col. Romeo Brawner, Deputy Commander of JTG Ranao.
He said the death of terrorist leaders Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon on Monday led to Marawi’s liberation. The two were killed in the main battle zone of Marawi, the provincial capital of Lanao del Sur, over 1,400 kilometers south of Manila