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Rise up Marawi City

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After five months of fighting, President Rodrigo Duterte finally declared Marawi City liberated from the terrorists following the death of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, Southeast Asia’s most notorious Islamic State-linked terrorist leader and the so-called “emir” of the IS in the region, and Maute group leader Omar Maute, in a dawn clash.

 

Over 1,000 perished, 162 of them soldiers and policemen and 37 civilians, during the fighting which also displaced over 200,000 residents. Moreover, many buildings, commercial and residential, were pulverized while some schools, hospitals and mosques were damaged in the incessant bombings that followed the siege by terrorists starting on May 23 while the President was in a state visit in Russia.

 

While remnants of the terrorists have remained cornered in the city, the Duterte declaration signals a start of a massive clearing up by the military, the local government, business and religious sectors and the citizens in the battle zone and the city. This will then pave the way for a massive repair and rehabilitation which by experts estimate could run into hundreds of billions of pesos and will take at least three to five years to complete. Already, the government has set aside at least P8 billion for the short term and permanent work.

 

With the cooperation of everybody, including the international community, Marawi City, the center of Islamic faith in the country, will surely rise from the rubbles of the war. But what is more important is that the attack will not be repeated and that all sectors should unite to ensure that the city and its people will no longer suffer.

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