The conflict in Marawi has been going on for almost 10 weeks since the Islamic State group, the Maute brothers have invaded the city of Marawi. Over 300,000 people have fled the city and almost 500 people have died. President Duterte has extended martial law until the end of the year in an attempt to finish the war more quickly. There are still around 300 civilians trapped as hostages, and Duterte is determined to get them all out, Christians and Muslims.
07/30/2017 Philippines (Philstar Global) – President Duterte is allowing security forces to take their time on the Marawi crisis even as he stressed that the operations against the Maute terrorists would continue until the last terrorist is killed.
Duterte said there are around 300 civilians who are still trapped in the battle zone.
“We will finish it. We are not joking. Until the last terrorist is taken out, the war will continue. They have 300 hostages there and that is what is delaying (the operations),” the President said during his second state of the nation address.
“Sabi ko, huwag mo muna i-assault (I told them not to launch an assault) if possible. we just have to wait it out,” he added.
Duterte said the safety of the civilians remains the primary consideration of government forces.
“I don’t care if they are Moros or Christians. I don’t want these innocents to be slaughtered so hintay lang tayo (let’s just wait). Patience,” he said.
The militants, mostly members of the Maute group, rounded up civilians in the country’s only Islamic city, even before the government began its offensive.