With mortar fire continuing to rain down on the main battle area in Marawi City, a group of soldiers in Barangay Datu Sa Dansalan made their way to the front lines, dodging bullets as they lugged heavy equipment to the roof of a building.
The equipment was an entire public address system, including amplifiers, microphones, and loudspeakers. From their post up high, the soldiers broadcast messages to the enemy, encouraging them to surrender.
According to a report by Emil Sumangil on 24 Oras, the Army's Civil Military Operations Regiment has been valiantly conducting its work in difficult circumstances.
In one instance caught on video, the terrorists bombarded them with teargas, but the soldiers continued broadcasting even as their eyes filled with tears.
Meanwhile, from helicopters, Western Mindanao Command troops have been air-dropping leaflets onto the city below.
The messages, placed in plastic bottles dropped by the soldiers, urge the terrorists to surrender.
The notes also contain directions to the military outpost—not just for fighters who might want to surrender, but also for any remaining civilians who need to get to safety.
WestMinCom chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez said in a briefing that though he could not elaborate on the effectivity of the messages for tactical reasons, "there is a positive result...there is a significant result on that."
The fighting which broke out in Marawi between government forces and the Maute group on May 23 has turned the Lanao del Sur capital into a devastated ghost town.
According to the latest numbers, at least 155 government troops and 45 civilians have lost their lives. The number of dead among the Maute terrorists is over 750.
The military on Thursday backtracked on earlier statements that they expect the conflict in Marawi to end by October 15.