ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 14 Oct) – Task Force Bangon Marawi will lead next week’s third commemoration of the Marawi Liberation Day, which will include the laying of wreaths for the heroes inside the Army brigade headquarters and the inauguration of the Banggolo Bridge downtown, which was repaired after sustaining damage during the Marawi Siege in 2017.
Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr., TFBM Field Office Manager, said wreaths will be offered at a heroes’ landmark inside the headquarters of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, known locally as the Kampo Ranao.
Castro said Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, TFBM chair, will be visiting Marawi to check on ongoing housing and other infrastructure projects. He was referring to the inauguration of the Banggolo Bridge, which was severely damaged during the siege owing to its strategic location in the heart of the city, and the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction of the Bato Ali Mosque, site of fierce battles between the ISIS-inspired Maute Group and government troops.
The Maute group attacked downtown Marawi on May 23, 2017, occupied most of the downtown area and engaged government troops in the country’s longest battle since World War II. President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi to be “liberated from the terrorist influence” almost five months later, on October 17.
The siege had resulted in more than 1,100 fatalities, including at least 47 civilians.
Meanwhile, General Gilbert I. Gapay, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said over the weekend that the government is very much concerned on the rehabilitation of Marawi as it saw that “terrorism is really a clear and present danger that threatens the way of life” of all Filipinos.
“The way forward now is for us to work together to rehabilitate Marawi and to bring it back to how it used to be, or even better,” he added. (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)