From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 27): Conflict in Marawi City likely to end within next 2 weeks - DND chief
Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that they are looking to end the conflict in Marawi City within the next two weeks.
He made this statement during an interview with DZRH radio Tuesday.
Also, the DND chief assured all affected Marawi City residents that the government would do everything in its authority to help them get back to their feet, including the repair of their homes, which might have been damaged in the course of the fighting, and infrastructures destroyed in the series of clashes with Maute Group terrorists.
"This won't take long, the fighting may be over in one or two weeks," Lorenzana said in Filipino.
He also admitted that there was a bit of pressure among troops as President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to deliver his second State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) this coming July 24 and it won't look good if there were still fighting and killings during that time.
"It won't look good (during the SONA) if the Marawi City clash is still ongoing and killing still taking place," Lorenzana stressed.
And despite fanatical resistance from the remaining terrorists, whom the DND chief sees fighting to the death, the defense official said that they were still urging the lawless elements to surrender peacefully as they had no hope in winning the battle.
Conflict in Marawi City started when government security forces attempted to arrest Abu Sayyaf Group leader Isnilon Hapilon, the ISIS "Emir" in Southeast Asia, last May 23.
As of this posting, the number of terrorists neutralized by military operations are placed at 290 with the number of government troops killed in action at 70 and 27 civilians executed.
Number of firearms recovered from the lawless elements are placed at 347 with the remaining hostages placed at 150 to 200.
Number of still active Maute Group terrorists are placed between 100 and 120.