Marawi City, September 24, 2017 – At 10:00 AM today, September 24, 2017, Major Generals Rolando Bautista and Danilo Pamonag, Commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi and Commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident respectively, crossed for the first time since the start of the seige, the Bayabao Bridge and the Masui Bridge in Marawi City.
The bridges were recently recovered and controlled by government forces from the Maute terrorist group that are still holed up in a small part of the city.
The two commanders were met on the other end of the bridge by Brigadier General Melquiades Ordiales, the Commander of Joint Task Group Tiger.
“This is a significant progress in the effort of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to defeat the terrorists, rescue the hostages, and regain control of the whole city,” Maj. Gen. Bautista said.
“The terrorists are now becoming desperate as our soldiers and police are closing in on their defensive positions. We are continuing our appeal to the terrorists to release their hostages and for them to surrender,” Maj. Gen. Bautista said.
As of today, Day 125 of the crisis, 151 soldiers and police have died while fighting. 694 terrorists have been killed.
During his 5th visit to Marawi City on September 21, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte said “the end of the combat operation is just around the corner.”
“Once the firefight is over, the daunting task of rehabilitation will proceed full blast,” Maj. Gen. Bautista said.