Clad in full battle gear, President Rodrigo Duterte visits the war-torn Marawi City for the third time on August 24, 2017 to boost the morale of the government troops from the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident. (SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte wants government troops to incorporate the training of combatting urban terrorism. This, as their fight against ISIS-linked militants in Marawi City continue.

Duterte visited government troops in Thursday afternoon, August 24, his third since the fighting erupted on May 23.

“This is the only war that took us three months now because they had a natural barrier, concrete walls,” Duterte said when he met with the soldiers at the command post in Baragay Kilala in Marawi City.

The urban warfare proved to be a challenge for the government troops as 129 forces were killed in the fighting. After failing to meet the deadlines last June 2 and June 12 in ending the conflict, the military has stopped setting a timeline.

Army spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla on Friday, August 25, said the operations in Marawi remain “delicate.”

“The cases of unexploded ordnance, IEDs in every room, in every corner, are matters that put our troops in danger every minute of the day,” Padilla said.

He said not setting any deadline will give the government troops “as much time as they need” to clear the area.

The military said the main battle area is contained in just “half a square kilometer grid.” (

comments powered by Disqus