Press Release
October 17, 2017

Statement on the Liberation of Marawi City

After almost five months of fighting, President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the liberation of Marawi City from the treacherous grasp of the Maute Rebellion.

First and foremost, we must pay tribute to the brave men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who have sacrificed their blood, sweat, and tears to make this victory possible. Their heroism in the face of immeasurable hardship has immortalized their legacy in the hearts and minds of a grateful nation, which will be forever in their debt.

In this moment of triumph, we must also honor the memory of the 162 soldiers who gave their lives in the defense of Marawi City. I pray that this moment will somehow assuage the incomparable grief suffered by their loved ones, that their hearts may swell with somber pride in knowing that this essential victory was made possible by the noble sacrifice of our fallen heroes.

As the fighting draws to a close, an even bigger challenge looms over the horizon - the rehabilitation of Marawi City. The city's infrastructure is in shambles, and the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the war have been devastated. The government must make the rehabilitation effort one of its foremost priorities in the coming years. A united Filipino people must work together to build Marawi back into something better than it ever was.

Lastly, we must remember that the Battle of Marawi City is just one theater in the larger war against violent extremism. May the resounding defeat of the Maute group serve as an ominous warning to any terrorists who would dare challenge the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines. I urge the government to build on the lessons learned from the Marawi conflict as it continues the campaign to eradicate all terrorist threats in Mindanao and beyond.

God Bless the Philippines!

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