MALACANANG — During a press conference on 15 September 2017, the Department of National Defense announced that with only two barangays in Marawi City being occupied by the remaining fighters of the IS-sympathizing Maute Group, the four-month siege is nearing its end.
“Konti na lang ‘yung natitira rito. This is just one and a half barangay-wide. The area is just one and a half barangays. That’s why I’ve been told by our ground commanders that malapit na raw,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during a press briefing in Malacañan Palace.
The Defense Secretary added the military has not set a deadline but assured that government troops are “doing their best.”
Rehabilitation and recovery projects for the besieged southern city were also discussed during the briefing, with updates provided on the construction of housing, the provision of water supply, as well as psychological interventions for the displaced.
A breakdown of pledged foreign aid was also given during the briefing: Php 1 billion from Australia, Php 730 million from the United States of America; Php 100 million from Japan; Php 100 million from Thailand; Php 85 million from China, wherein P70 million will be allocated for the wounded while the remaining P15 million will be for rehabilitation; and Php 49 million from the European Union.
Lorenzana estimated during the press conference that over Php 50 billion would be needed for the rehabilitation of the besieged city.