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Philippine Defense Minister: A Month or Two Needed to Liberate Marawi City

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Philippine Defense Minister: A Month or Two Needed to Liberate Marawi City

Yesterday, Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said that the Philippine Army will need a “month or two” to liberate Marawi city from ISIS. Lorenzana added that Marawi’s battle is “complicated, but [Marawi] will be liberated”.

It’s worth to note that the Philippine Army announced yesterday that its military operation against ISIS in Marawi was about to end.

Yesterday, ISIS fighters from Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups attacked Philippine Army positions in Marawi city, but the Philippine Army supported by the Philippine Air Force repelled the attack, according to a military spokesperson Captain Jo-Ann Petinglay. Petinglay added that ISIS fighters were trying to escape.

“Those enemies who died in the offensives include men of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon who are digging for a tunnel under a mosque trying to escape the battle zone or reach the lake,” he said.

Today, ISIS claimed that its fighters killed 3 Philippine soldiers and wounded 2 others during clashes in Marinot district of Marawi city.

Philippine sources have announced that the Philippine Army has so far killed 528 ISIS fighters in Marawi. The Philippine Army announced that it has lost 122 soldiers so far.

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Nigel Maund

This has been a very difficult battle for the ill prepared Philippine Armed Forces. The Generalship appears to have left much to be desired. The Maute ISIS has fought with grim determination and utter ruthlessness. However, the performance by the Philippines best troops, the Marines and Rangers, has been disappointing and I fear the Philippine Military has been taught a very hard lesson. Moreover, it is desperately obvious that the Philippine Military needs much more intensive training and to be equipped with appropriate weapons to fight all manner of insurgencies in the Philippines. Duterte has had to cope with years of rot and inefficiency established under the poor administration of his predecessors; i.e., the very weak and indecisive Benigno Aquino, corrupt and inept Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and in totally appropriate and rather stupid Erap. The US Military are hardly the best people to train the Philippine Military given their lousy (post WW2) performance in jungle and urban warfare and heavy dependence upon brute use of firepower especially airpower. One would by choice utilise the skills of the Australians special forces for jungle warfare and the Russians for urban warfare. The Philippine airforce is extremely weak lacking quality drones, apache and black hawk type attack helicopters and accurate ground strike aircraft. It’s performance in this battle has been like something from the 1950’s!


In all fairness the Philippine army only exists to occasionally beat down the odd local uprising. And prior uprisings were usually small scale, or at the least so far away from central power in Manilla to not matter that much to those in the capital. And in their defense keeping the Philippine army from seizing power was usually their biggest priority. It usually is in most 3rd World countries, where the army is often the bigger threat to a government then its neighbors. In fact most 3rd World countries would have been a lot better off if they had no armies. It would have prevented a lot of brutal coups and juntas.

Nigel Maund

These are good comments; thanks!, However, my overall narrative, I feel, is correct. Matters have radically altered and the Philippines needs to overcome its entrenched corruption especially at the level of its leading politicians and the leaders of industry and start to develop the country as an “Asian Tiger Economy” rather than one of being a source for English speaking skilled labor and exporter of commodities with no value added. It has suited US geopolitical strategy to keep the Philippines as a weak vassal State. Duterte has understood this and is trying to change the paradigm, albeit meeting strong resistance from the US Deep State. The Philippines, given its burgeoning population and strain on its resources and infrastructure, is now at an important cross roads. It now must change and modernise or face some dire near term consequences.

Terra Cotta Woolpuller

They would be better served if they were trained by Ghurkas and other Commonwealth forces since they would need to have a diversified Special forces , CSOR could help better than Australia with Urban and limited Air support since they train the African Union troops and various other special forces and possibly can get them to provide weapons for the Philipines special forces as they did for Peshmerga special forces. They are more adaptable than the Aussies, in training and tactics and have worked with more nations in providing counter-terrorism training,they train the Afghani police also.


One thing is jumping around in open terrain, but this isnt that, and I dont doubt the Philippines have what they need of able bodied men/women, but lacks the gear, and when I say gear, I mean everything, what makes Russians good is Intelligence, ability and mobility, where I ges the ISIS have better equipment, you know when its feed from the source it self the uISISa.

And I hope that the present direction in what country’s to cooperate with, will stay, and both Russia and China have what the Philippines need, of weapon systems and help to train the people to use it. So far the task is difficult, and the Army can only buy it self time by active engagements against ISIS to keep it occupied while the training continues, it will take time, but eventually it will be solved. The Philippines have to face an steep learning curve.

So far as in Syria, I dont see any issues apart from it isnt done in an hurry, Rome wasn’t build within an week.


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