Press Release
October 18, 2017

Statement of Senator Cynthia Villar on the Liberation of Marawi

I welcome the news that President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the liberation of Marawi City from "terrorist influence" after more than four months of having been terrorized by the ISIS-linked Maute Group militants. This truly marks the start of the rebuilding of the city and the lives of its residents. I hope the displaced families can return to their homes at the soonest possible time.

Likewise, I salute the courage and bravery of the Filipino soldiers in seizing control of the stronghold of the terrorists in the city and finally killing the terror group's leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute. The valiant efforts of our troops and the sacrifice of their fallen comrades have not gone in vain.

Together with all Filipinos, we hope and pray that this will mark the end of terrorism in our country, especially in Mindanao. However, we cannot be complacent. We have to remain vigilant against any future threats to our peace and freedom. The country's unity and the citizens' united front are crucial for peace and order to prevail.

Together, we also have to do our parts in rebuilding what was left of Marawi City and helping our fellow Filipinos who were affected by the conflict, so they can go back to their normal lives.

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