Marawi - "The situation is exhausting: more than 40 days of guerrilla war have gone by and our beautiful city of Marawi has been reduced to rubble. We are suffering for Father Chito and the other hostages. We hope with all our heart and pray that the war in Marawi ends soon": says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Edwin De la Pena, who heads Marawi's apostolic prelature on the island of Mindanao, while the conflict between the Philippine army and terrorists faithful to ISIS, barricaded since May 23 in the city of Marawi, continues. According to official data, up to July 5, 351 Jihadists were killed, 39 civilians, 85 Filipino soldiers who have lost their lives, while the Filipino army have been using strategic advice and technology provided by the US Army.
In a battle that has been going on far more than expected - which shows the careful preparation of the terrorist attack - President Duterte hopes that the crisis will end before the next state speech on the nation on July 23, the same day that the two months of martial law proclaimed in Mindanao on May 23 expires.
"There is a lot of tension. There are no negotiations, but fighting continues. Meanwhile many refugees are demoralized. As Christian and Muslim leaders we are showing all our solidarity. The community of the baptized continues to pray.
I will talk about the crisis in Marawi in the upcoming plenary assembly of the Philippine Bishops, where we will elect the new President. We are in the hands of God. We hope the hostages are not hurt. We continue to hope and pray", concludes the Bishop. >>