Marawi: Images from a ghost town

Schools and jail had been burned down, mosque and chapels were closed, hospital sieged. Some residents were taken hostage by the terrorists, and later rescued by government forces

Thousands of residents have fled Marawi to the relative safety of Iligan in Lanao del Norte, and of Cagayan de Oro in Misamis Oriental, enduring hours-long traffic and military checkpoints.


Still, some decided to stay to watch over their closed shops and houses, but later begged that they be brought food and water. 

And for every morning that they stayed, explosions and gunshots would wake them up.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited the troops in Iligan City Friday afternoon, May 26, giving them marching orders to arrest every person carrying firearms without authorization, and to shoot them when they fight back. 

"Sasamahan ko kayo (I'll be with you all the way). If you go down, I go down. But for this martial law and the consequences of martial law, and the ramifications of martial law, I and I alone would be responsible. Trabaho lang [kayo]. Ako na bahala (Just do you job, I have your back)," he said.

His defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, set a target: the siege of Marawi will be over in a week or less. –