MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he is planning a "purge" of officials in Marawi for their shortcomings in the ongoing clashes between government troops and local terrorists in this southern Philippine city.
"I think I'll have to purge them," Duterte said on Wednesday, October 11, in a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of Scout Ranger Ville in San Miguel, Bulacan.
Duterte cited the failure of Marawi officials to give information on "tunnels" created by the terrorist Maute Group. The President described these as similar to those made by the Viet Cong, a Vietnamese guerrilla force. (READ: Maute ratholes, trenches revealed as troops gain ground in Marawi)
"So takbo takbo sila, mahirapan tayo, plus the hostages," Duterte said. (They keep on running, so we're having a hard time, plus the hostages.)
The casualties include at least 160 government forces, 802 terrorists, and 47 civilians.
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.