MANILA (UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte’s scheduled visit to the besieged Islamic city of Marawi on Thursday was cancelled due to bad weather.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, who visited Marawi City today, said in a text message to reporters that the president had to cancel his visit to the city due to bad weather, which could have prevented his aircraft from landing safely.
Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza, who accompanied Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperson Jr. to Marawi, said Duterte instead flew from Davao City to Cagayan de Oro to visit wounded troops at the headquarters of the Army's 4th Infantry Division in Barangay Patag.
Duterte was scheduled to visit Camp Ranaw today, his first visit to Marawi City since clashes between government forces and the Maute group and other rebels erupted there last May 23.
The President placed the entire Mindanao under martial law due to the clashes between government forces and local terrorists which have left over 200 dead and trapped around 2,000 residents.
The clashes erupted as state forces were attempting to arrest top Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon.