MARAWI, the Philippines, May 23 (NNN-Xinhua) -- One year after the battle began in the southern Philippine city of Marawi between military and local terrorists, security situation of the city is more stable than before, a military official said Wednesday.
Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of the Joint Task Force Ranao, said that the military and the local government have so far succeeded in improving the law and order in Marawi.
"It's a lot safer now. The security situation is more stable now than before," Brawner told Xinhua.
On May 23 last year, some 1,000 pro-IS extremists belonging to the Abu Sayyaf and Maute groups attacked the city, displacing thousands, mostly poor residents.
After a five-month military operation, the Philippine military killed 947 local terrorists and regained control of the Marawi city.
Brawner added that the "sleeper cells" of the terrorist organizations still exist in the Philippines. "Violent extremism is still there. We still have to deal with it," Brawner said.
"The situation is under control. The local people are more at ease now because they are focusing more on rehabilitation," he said.
The spokesman of the Armed Force of the Philippines, Edgard Arevalo, said on Wednesday that the Philippine military is not letting its guards down.
He said the troops "continue to monitor reports and do proactive measures to frustrate efforts of the remnants of the Maute Group to recruit, reorganize, and regroup."
Arevalo also appealed for involvement and vigilance of the people and local government units "in reporting their observations to the security forces."-- NNN-XINHUA
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK