DND chief, Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, confirmed that the last two pro-Islamic State (IS) leaders, Omarkhayam Maute and Isnilon Hapilon were dead. Both leaders were killed in separate locations by the elite Army Scout Ranger snipers. Malacanang claimed that the deaths meant as a “clear victory against terrorism.” Although Sec. Lorenzana said that the remains must undergo DNA test to determine if the bodies recovered from the sight were indeed belong to Maute and Hapilon.
With this development, the local government, led by Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesperson for the Lanao del Sur crisis management committee, said that everyone is happy with the death of the two leaders and it is an indication that the war is over and time to plan for the rehabilitation of the city. And for Gov. Mujiv Hataman, he claimed that it is the end of the Marawi siege, but marked the beginning of a long process of healing and recovery among the people of the Islamic city.
Although President Duterte announced yesterday that Marawi is now liberated from terrorist forces, although he added that there’s nothing to celebrate because the priority of the government is the rehabilitation of the city. “We have restored peace in Marawi but that should not be a cause for celebration because we have destroyed the city in the process,” he said in front of the soldiers. He also extended his apologies to all the victims of the war.
The Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator Kristoffer James Purisima said that an assessment of the damage brought by the siege will be completed soon, but only if the clearing operation of the main battle area will be cleared of terrorists. As of now, the National Housing Authority has started building transitional shelters for those who lost their homes because of the conflict.