MARAWI - For the first time since conflict in this city erupted, military officials were able to cross two bridges that were recently retaken by government troops from the Maute terror group.
At 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Major Generals Rolando Bautista and Danilo Pamonag, Commander of the Joint Task Force Marawi and Commander of the Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident respectively, crossed the Bayabao Bridge and the Masui Bridge.
The two commanders were met on the other end of the bridges by Brigadier General Melquiades Ordiales, the Commander of the Joint Task Group Tiger.
According to Major General Bautista, this is a significant progress in the effort of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to defeat the terrorists, rescue the hostages, and regain control of the whole city.
"The terrorists are now becoming desperate as our soldiers and police are closing in on their defensive positions. We are continuing our appeal to the terrorists to release their hostages and for them to surrender," he added.
On its 125th day since the siege started, 151 soldiers and police have paid the ultimate sacrifice while 694 terrorists have been killed.
During his 5th visit to Marawi City last September 21, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte said "the end of the combat operation is just around the corner."