MANILA - The mayor of Marawi City is asking the military to refrain from conducting aerial bombardment as to avoid collateral damage in the government's operations against the Maute terrorists in the city.
Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra said he is in close coordination with police and military officials to make sure the operations will not hit innocent civilians in the capital city of Lanao del Sur.
"Karamihan ho dito ay innocent civilians. Ito ho ay siyudad. Mahirap po 'yung ganoon ang gagawin natin, maraming collateral damage," he told ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda on Wednesday.
Gandamra believes chances of the military carrying out an aerial bombardment is now remote as there have been no gunfire heard this morning, as opposed to what happened on Tuesday night.
While the situation appears to be calm, the mayor is not yet advising the public to go out on the streets as the military continues to pursue the terrorists in the city.
"Any possibility of bombardment, sa tingin ko, ay very remote dahil sa ngayon po ay medyo wala na po 'yung putukan dito. I hope totally magwithdraw na itong isis inspired group," he said.
According to Gandamra, there are at least 100 terrorists belonging to the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups occupying certain villages in Marawi, which has 96 barangays.
Despite this, he said establishments remain free of the terrorists' control. He said he has not left the city hall since Tuesday to prevent terrorists from taking control from Marawi's seat if power.