|Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)|
By Christina Mendez
MANILA, Philippines - With around 600 structures still needing to be cleared of militants, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said yesterday it might not be able to wrap up its operations in Marawi City before the 60-day martial law lapses on July 22 or two days before President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“We are right into the 10 to 15 days of the President. But the 10 to 15 days is beyond the SONA, by the way, so don’t expect it to be before the SONA,” military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said.
Speaking during the Mindanao Hour at Malacañang, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella reported that 600 of the 1,500 to 2,000 buildings and structures in Marawi have yet to be inspected and cleared of terrorists.
Abella said clearing operations are “progressing positively.” He added that there are still 80 terrorists holed up in four barangays, with heavy resistance monitored in two villages.
“As of the 13th of July, 43 had been cleared; 53 and 54 previously in – respectively in previous days. More or less 600 buildings remain to be cleared (out of the) 1,500 to 2,000 buildings, total facilities to clear at the beginning of the conflict,” Abella said.
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