Classes resume in Marawi as military says battle nears endgame
Despite the ongoing battle against the Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in Marawi, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claims a “certain degree of normalcy” was attained as classes in 12 public elementary schools were held Tuesday.
“We are happy to tell you that we have attained certain degree of normalcy in Marawi. We know that in the past few weeks the Mindanao State University and its whole compound have opened. Yesterday 12 school have also resume their classes,” said Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Chief in a briefing at Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.
“9,000 students are now studying and have gone back to their schools to show that not terrorism, not criminality, not abuses or not being frightened will ever quench their thirst for knowledge,” he said.
“Naturally with the opening of classes, the small establishments that provides the needs of the students like the canteen, school supply store and other related small businesses have also opened,” Arevalo added.
Brigadier General Rolando Joselito Bautista, Joint Task Force Marawi commander, said the 12 schools are Sultan Conding Elementary School, Sikap Elementary School, Cabingan Primary School, Banga Elementary School, Datu Tambak Elementary School, Rorogagus Elementary School, Bito Elementary School, Pendolonan Elementary School, Abdulazis Elementary School, Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School, Sugod Elementary School, and Mipaga Elementary School.
Arevalo said the employees of the Department of Public Works and Highways have begun cleaning their office.
“The employees of the DPWH are currently cleaning their offices to restore their services and to start the restoration and building of structures that will help in the recovery of Marawi,” he said.
“We also knew that in previous days (Marawi) Mayor Majul Gandamra has opened his temporary office or temporary capitol within Marawi to further establish or give the semblance of normalcy in that city,” he added.
Arevalo said the military is pushing towards the conclusion of the operation against the Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the city.
“They have no room to maneuver so that at the... concluding part of the operation they have no other choice but to surrender or die,” he said.
According to Arevalo the number of fatalities on the government side remains at 145 while 649 terrorists were killed. Robina Asido/DMS