The Battle of Marawi has been won as President Rodrigo Duterte’s war plan has worked. What started as what Duterte himself called “CIA operation” during his visit to Moscow, has now been squashed.
Earlier this month, it was reported that over several scores of ISIS aligned terrorists of the illegal Maute Group remained in the besieged southern Philippine city of Marawi. Today, Philippines Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that “There are no more militants in Marawi”.
In May of this year, the Maute terrorist group confirmed its allegiance to ISIS and began a violent takeover of Marawi on the island of Mindanao. The terrorist onslaught began as Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was in Moscow for his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Since then, Russia has pledged to work closely with Philippines to cooperate on security issues. Recently, Manila confirmed the receipt of a large free shipment of weapons from Russia.
This will be invaluable to Philippines as latent rebel and terrorist groups in Mindanao may still pose lingering threats to security and stability. However, the worst of the terrorist onslaught is over and President Duterte’s initiative to declare martial law in Mindanao is now fully vindicated.