I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives resulting from this most unfortunate incident. We reach out to the families and loved ones of the soldiers who lost their lives and pray for the speedy recovery of those who were injured.
What happened yesterday and last month, when several of our Marines inadvertently perished because of a wayward ordnance dropped from an aircraft, reflect the harsh nature of urban warfare where soldiers operate in tight spaces and in close proximity to the enemy. The problems we face are the same as those confronted by other nations fighting terrorists in places like Mosul, Fallujah, and Raqqa.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines is now reviewing and recalibrating its existing doctrines in order for the troops to adapt and respond to this evolving type of war.
Admittedly, retaking the very last positions of the Maute-ISIS who are still in Marawi is proving to be a challenge. We have to operate with due consideration for the safety of the civilians who are still trapped in the area against enemies who know no rules, who use hostages as human shields and children as frontline fighters. Our resolve to end the situation, however, has not wavered. In fact, we are now more determined than ever to finally eliminate these terrorists, and we will not stop until evil is vanquished, not only in Marawi City but also in the whole of Mindanao.
Magtiwala lang po tayo sa inyong kasundaluhan at kapulisan, at bilang sambayanan, sama-sama nating labanan ang puwersa ng kasamaan.