Marawi university reopens as war drags on; enrollment drops

Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 22 2017 08:03 PM

Students board commissioned buses that will take them to the Mindanao State University.

Classes reopened Tuesday at the Mindanao State University (MSU), which Islamic State-linked terrorists held during the early days of their rebellion in Marawi City. 

Thousands of MSU students underwent orientation and inspection by the university staff and the military in Barangay Maria Cristina, Iligan City before commissioned buses ferried them to their campus. 

"After a short program, we will immediately start classes," said Atty. Jamaloden Basar, MSU vice-president for administration and finance. 

Basar said the number of enrollees had dropped to 8,000 from the average 12,000 in previous years. 

He said he is optimistic though that the school population will increase again after state troops flush out the rebel forces. 

MSU officials assured that security checks were in place at the campus. 

Capt. Joan Petinglay, a military spokesperson, meanwhile, denied that the neighboring town of Marantao was placed under lock down due to a firefight between state troops and Maute extremists. 

The gun battle, which occurred some 3 kilometers away from MSU, lasted from 5 to 7 a.m. -- Report from Roxanne Arevalo, ABS-CBN News