The two surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines city of Marawi have been killed in an offensive launched by thousands of troops to retake areas held by pro-Islamic State militants, state security officials have said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to make a public announcement yet of the latest developments in the city, a mosque-studded centre of Islamic faith in the south of the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.
Local gov’t to preserve ruined Marawi building to serve as reminder of crisis
Once the crisis is over, the provincial government will choose a destroyed building in Marawi City that will serve as a reminder of the battle between government troops and local terror group Maute.
In a report on 24 Oras by Raffy Tima, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong said the structure at the heart of the ruined city will be preserved during rehabilitation.
“Pagpasok mo doon, ma-preserve at ma-feel mo, maramdaman mo kung ano talaga kung…gaano ‘yung destruction na nangyari,” Adiong said.
“Parang ‘yung sa Germany, may portion doon na hindi nila ginalaw,” he added.
Adiong said that as part of the government’s rehabilitation program, they are also planning to build a peace park near Lanao Lake where the names of civilians and government troops who died in the battle will be engraved.
They are also planning on putting up a monument which will be built with the battle’s debris.
Meanwhile, Adiong said they will ask the government to prioritize the rehabilitation of at least 50 damaged mosques in the city.
“Ang mga icons, establishments that [really symbolize] the Maranao community must be rehabilitated first if the government cannot provide for individual reparation budget for each household,” he said.
Adiong said they are coming up with these plans because they feel that the crisis will end very soon.
Meanwhile, the local official said they are expecting at least 500 more bodies to be recovered as the rehabilitation of the city progresses.
“Hindi bababa sa 500 remains ang posible na makuha diyan,” he said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said at least 753 militants and more than 150 government troops have been killed since the Maute group attacked the city on May 23.
A total of 47 civilians have also been confirmed killed. —Margaret Claire Layug/ALG, GMA News