MARAWI CITY- Sen. Manny Pacquiao arrived here Saturday morning to visit troops amid continuing clashes between terrorists and state forces.
The boxer-turned-lawmaker, a Philippine Army reservist ranked Lieutenant Colonel, arrived in full military garb at Camp Ranao around 9 a.m. with his staff to receive a security briefing from military officials.
After the closed-door meeting, Pacquiao is expected to have a dialogue with soldiers stationed at the base, a pep talk seen to boost the morale of troops who have been engaged in firefights with Islamic State-linked militants for more than two months now.
The lawmaker is also set to provide assistance to troops based in the conflict zone.
Pacquiao's visit came as the military pursued offensives against remnants of the Maute terror group believed to remain in two barangays in the city.
President Rodrigo Duterte also visited troops in Marawi City on July 20 to show his support for his soldiers.
The government said the death toll from the long-drawn siege has risen to 630: 471 terrorists, 45 civilians, and 114 state troops.
The conflict has displaced some 400,000 residents from Marawi City and nearby areas.
Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law on May 23 after terrorists captured parts of Marawi in a bid to establish an Islamic State province in the Philippines.
On July 22, Congress extended martial rule until the end of the year on Duterte's request. -- report from Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News.