Fighting in Marawi will ‘soon be over’ – Gen. Año

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 3 Aug) – Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año said on Wednesday that the fighting in Marawi will “soon be over” with government troops dislodging the final pockets of resistance from the ISIS-Maute gunmen.

AFP Chief of Staff Eduardo Año pins the Wounded Personnel Medal to a soldier who was wounded in Marawi City during ceremonies at the Camp Evangelista Emergency Station Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City on Wednesday (2 August 2017). Año awarded the medals to 53 soldiers recuperating at the hospital. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

Año revealed this assessment after he and other military officers went to the main battle areas in Barangays Padian and Raya Madaya in Marawi City Wednesday morning.

“The fighting is reduced to house to house, building to building, floor to floor, and chamber to chamber,” Año said.

He said the troops in the frontlines told him there is a noticeable decrease of resistance from the ISIS-Maute gunmen compared to weeks ago.

“We will finish Marawi very soon,” Año said.

Año said they have a general idea of the location of the hostages, including Fr. Teresito “Chito” Soganub.

He said ISIS-Maute gunmen are still holding most of the 300 hostages in two buildings while the rest were scattered in other parts of the city.

“We still have so many names unaccounted for and we believed the gunmen are holding them as hostages,” Año said.

Año arrived at the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital here to pin the Wounded Personnel Medal to 53 soldiers.

He also gave P1 million checks to the families of 1Lt John Carl Morales of Kabacan, North Cotabato; Cpl. Philip Apao of Don Carlos, Bukidnon; and PFC. Kevin Sisban of Linamon, Lanao del Norte; who were all killed in action in Marawi City.

The money came from an anonymous donor who pledged to give P1 million to each soldier killed in action in Marawi. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)