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Only residents allowed in cleared Marawi villages during return period

In this May 25, 2017 photo, residents flee Marawi City to escape clashes between security forces and Islamic State-inspired militants. Philstar.com/John Unson, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday assured the public that only residents of Marawi will be allowed to enter the city once the government completely clears the city of terrorists.

“We will make sure that the non-residents will not be able to join them (Marawi residents) and maybe, you know, create havoc or create a scenario here in Marawi City,” Col. Romeo Brawner, deputy commander of Task Group Ranao, said in a televised briefing.

Brawner said Marawi City residents may be allowed to return their homes by next week once the government clears the area and resumed operations of services, health clinics and schools.

He said around nine barangays or villages will be reopened within the week. These are the following:

  • Matampay

  • Tampilong

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  • East Basak

  • Basak Malutlut

  • Moriatao Loksadato

  • Marawi Poblacion

  • Datu Sober

  • Buadi Sacayo (Green)

  • Panggao Saduc

To assure that only residents will be permitted into  Marawi's barangays, Brawner said the authorities will assign not only members of the AFP and the Philippine National Police but also trained Barangay Peacekeeping Action Teams or other barangay officials who can vouch for residents.

The AFP official added that barangay chairpersons will play a big role in the profiling of residents.

Brawner earlier mentioned that the local government has already conducted barangay mapping and profiling to identify the residents of each villages.

He said they also have an initial master list of residents based on the census but these have yet to be verified by local officials.

He said there three barangays near the Mindanao State University have recently been opened to returning residents.

On Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte declared besieged Marawi City freed from terrorists. He said the liberation marks the start of the rehabilitation.

RELATED: Mayor estimates Marawi rehabilitation to take 3 years

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