Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, listens to Special Assistant to the President Christopher Bong Go, during the change of command ceremony for the new army chief Maj.Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista, right, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 in Fort Bonifacio in, Taguig city, east of Manila, Philippines. Bautista assumes command of the 87,000-strong army forces with thousands of them deployed in Marawi and nearby provinces to fight against Muslim militants who laid siege to the city in southern Philippines for more than four months now. At left is outgoing army chief Lt.Gen. Glorioso Miranda. AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

As Marawi siege continues, Duterte tells troops: Study how Mosul was freed from ISIS
Alexis Romero ( - October 5, 2017 - 12:56pm
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte Thursday ordered the military to study how the United States-led coalition liberated Mosul and Aleppo from the Islamic State even as he declared that the operations in Marawi are “winding up.”
Duterte said there might be a need to revisit military doctrines to address the threats posed by terrorism.
“Eh parang nahihirapan ho tayo dito (It seems that we are having a hard time). We have to revise the doctrines actually because we are facing an enemy that is well entrenched and it is an urban fighting,” the president told Army troops in Fort Bonifacio.
“It took us this long because the terrain has changed considerably. Maybe you’d want to take a look at seriously how Mosul, Aleppo and the rest of the territories are being taken now and how long it has been for them to do it,” he added.
ISIS jihadists were pushed out of Aleppo in Syria in July and were flushed out of Mosul in Iraq in June in developments that signal the crumbling of the caliphate they established in the Middle East.
Duterte has warned that the ISIS defeat in the Middle East could prod the terrorists to set their sights on Southeast Asia. The president claimed that the Maute group, which laid siege to Marawi last May 23, has ties with the ISIS.  
“As (the) experience from the Middle East (revealed), it takes a lot, about half a year or three months. And I am not surprised and you should not be surprised that it has taken this long really to move inch for inch,” Duterte said, referring to the offensives in Marawi.
“Marawi is winding up. We hope in the fullness of God's time we can talk peace. But they (Maranaos) should not allow the entry of terrorists,” he added.
Duterte said the military and police need new equipment to counter the threats posed by the terrorists.
“I know that the Armed Forces and the police need upgrades,” the president said.
“Because of the prepositioned maneuvers by the enemies and the fact that you have to breach cement, even steel. And that takes a lot of hard work,” he added.
Duterte also justified his decision to declare martial law in Mindanao, saying he would be impeached if he did not do so.  
“I was the one who declared martial law… I sent you (soldiers) there for some to die, to be brutal about it. I do not want it. I would never have thought I would have done it. But because of the terroristic activities all over the world, we have to meet the challenges,” he said.
“In the process, I have to declare it or else, I will be impeached for not only the ignorance but maybe the outright gross negligence of a president. I could not do anything. It is for the higher interest of the nation. Because our duty, my duty are fundamentally the same.”
Duterte stressed that as president, it is his duty “to protect the people and to preserve the Republic of the Philippines.”  

Palace welcomes rescue of hostages

Malacañang welcomed the release of 17 people kidnapped by the Maute terrorists, calling it a “positive development.”
“Government troops have successfully rescued 17 Maute hostages. We see this as a positive development towards the liberation of Marawi from the hands of terrorists,” presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.   
“Military operations are focused and intense and necessitate time to rescue remaining hostages, and bring to a decisive conclusion the Marawi rebellion,” he added.
Duterte said rebels remain holed up in a small portion of the city but are still showing tenacity and resistance.

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