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AFP prepares for Marawi recovery, military ops continue

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will begin rehabilitation and recovery efforts for Marawi City even if a few barangay remain in the hands of the Maute group and its allies.

In a press briefing on July 5, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año reminded his men to prepare to embark on other tasks such as the reconstruction of Marawi following the issuance of Administrative Order #3 creating the Task Force Bangon Marawi by President Duterte.

Joint Task Ranao, an inter-agency task force led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, shall take over and oversee AFP actions during this phase.

Año added that the AFP shall remain committed to the resolution of the war and that members of the Maute group, who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and their supporters will no longer pose a threat to national security.

On the other hand, Brig. Gen Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesman, said that there would be no negotiations with terrorists.
The military will continue clearing Marawi of armed terrorists while making the rescue of trapped civilians and recovery of casualties a priority, he added.

Padilla also reported that 359 terrorists and 85 soldiers had been killed during the battle. Also, 39 civilian casualties were also reported.

Padilla likewise that continued military operations have resulted in the recovery of 430 high-powered firearms from the terrorists, including Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

Efforts of government troops, local government units, and civil society organizations have resulted in the rescue of 1,722 civilians taken out of the conflict zone, he also said.

The spokesman called on residents to be vigilant and to report to authorities any suspicious looking person or items left unattended.