TIMELINE: The Battle for Marawi

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 17 2017 11:04 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared the liberation of Marawi City from terrorist clutches, a day after terror leaders Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon were killed by terrorists.

Here is a timeline of the war that has claimed hundreds of lives and left one of the Philippines' most bustling urban centers in ruins.

MAY 23: THE SIEGE BEGINS

Members of Islamic State-inspired Maute group clashed with government forces and raised a black flag with an ISIS logo in front of the Amai Pakpak Hospital. Local priest Fr. Chito Soganub and other civilians were taken hostage by the group.

In response, President Rodrigo Duterte, who was in Russia at the time, placed the entire island of Mindanao under martial law.

MAY 24: DUTERTE RETURNS, SUSPENDS PRIVILEGE OF WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS

President Rodrigo Duterte arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, a day after the siege in Marawi City began. Malacanang Photo

The President cuts short his trip to Moscow and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, allowing warrantless arrests as military forces scramble to contain the situation in Marawi City.

Military spokesman Col. Edgar Arevalo denied that ISIS was working with the terrorists in Marawi, as a lull in fighting allowed locals to leave Marawi in droves.

MAY 27: A SAD RAMADAN

Muslim faithful stay at the Usman Mosque after their early morning prayer as they start the holy month of Ramadan. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Ramadan in Marawi became a sad and painful one with locals forced to flee their homes.

MAY 31: BOTCHED AIR STRIKE KILLS 11 SOLDIERS, INJURES 7 OTHERS

A Philippine Air Force UH-1 helicopter hovers above a field as smoke billows from buildings in Marawi City's central district following aerial attacks from government forces. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana reported that 11 soldiers were killed while 7 others were wounded after an aerial attack mistakenly hit government troops.

JUNE 6: MAUTE PATRIARCH ARRESTED

Cayamora Maute beside the van he was riding when he was stopped by Task Force Davao at a checkpoint. Photo courtesy of Davao City Police.

The head of the Maute clan was apprehended at a checkpoint in Sirawan, Toril, Davao City. 

Cayamora Maute, father of Maute brothers and terrorists Omar and Abdullah, was apprehended in a van that was stopped by Task Force Davao at a checkpoint.

A video of terrorists allegedly plotting the siege in Marawi was also recovered by the military.

JUNE 9: MAUTE MATRIARCH ARRESTED

Ominta Romato "Farhana" Maute, the mother of the Maute terrorist leaders behind the attack on Marawi City was arrested in Masiu, Lanao del Sur.

She was arrested along with 2 other injured Maute group members after their vehicle was intercepted in Brgy. Kormatan, Masiu town.

JUNE 9: 13 MARINES KILLED IN BATTLE

President Rodrigo Duterte honors the fallen Philippine Marine Corps personnel killed in the anti-terror operations in Marawi City during the dignified transfer of the remains at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, on June 11, 2017. Malacañang photo

A group of 13 Marines, including 1st Lt. John Frederick Savellano died in a firefight in Marawi City. The 29-year-old soldier led the team which earlier recovered nearly P80-million worth of cash and cheques from a house in Marawi City.

JUNE 12: INDEPENDENCE DAY IN MARAWI

A member of the Bureau of Fire and Protection reacts as he remembers soldiers and civilians who were killed during the government troops' assault against the insurgents from the Maute group, who has taken over large parts of the Marawi city, during a national flag raising to mark Independence day in Marawi, Philippines June 12, 2017. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

The Philippines paid tribute to the brave men and women who died defending the people and the city of Marawi with a tribute video from Malacañang and the military. At the time, 58 government troops have been killed, including Savellano.

Soldiers, policemen, government employees, volunteers, and civilians also raised the Philippine flag and sang the Philippine national anthem while gathered at the capitol of Lanao del Sur for the June 12 rites.

JUNE 25: AN 8-HOUR CEASEFIRE FOR RAMADAN

An evacuee cries during the prayer that marks the end of Ramadan. Mark Saludes

The military suspended offensives against Islamic State-inspired extremists for 8 hours in Marawi Citys to observe the end of the Muslim holy month.

The "humanitarian pause" was observed from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

JUNE 26: ROBREDO VISITS MARAWI EVACUEES

Vice President Leni Robredo greets Marawi evacuees in Iligan City. Fernando Sepe Jr, ABS-CBN News

Vice President Leni Robredo visited Marawi City evacuees who are currently staying in Barangay Tubod, Iligan City.

The vice president turned over 3 sewing machines from private donors as the community she visited had a livelihood of making clothes and hijabs.

JULY 4: SUPREME COURT AFFIRMS MINDANAO MARTIAL LAW

The Supreme Court affirmed Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao with 11 justices voting to uphold the President’s declaration. 

Three others voted to limit the declaration to Marawi City, the conflict zone while a lone justice, meanwhile, voted to nullify the proclamation altogether.

JULY 20: DUTERTE VISITS MARAWI FOR THE FIRST TIME

President Rodrigo Duterte inspects firearms and ammunition during his first visit in Marawi city. Duterte made a visit after several failed attempts to express support and distribute care packages to military troops fighting in the besieged city. Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News

In an unannounced trip, President Rodrigo Duterte visited Marawi City for the first time, fulfilling his promise to set foot in the conflict zone.

Throughout the siege, Duterte made a total of 7 visits to the war-torn city, the last of which was on Tuesday, Oct. 17 to declare the city’s liberation.

JULY 22: CONGRESS EXTENDS MINDANAO MARTIAL LAW

Senate President Koko Pimentel and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez preside the joint session of congress deliberating the extension of Martial Law in Mindanao at the House of Representatives on July 22, 2017. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

Congress extended martial law in Mindanao until Dec. 31 on the President’s request. A total of 261 legislators approved the extension while 18 rejected the proposal.

JULY 29: ‘PACMAN’ BOOSTS MORALE OF SOLDIERS IN MARAWI

Sen. Manny Pacquiao gives out relief packs to soldiers in Marawi, called them the "real hero" for giving their lives to defend the country. Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Sen. Manny Pacquiao visited troops who were then slugging it out with Islamic State-inspired terrorists in Marawi City. The senator thanked and cheered the soldiers for pursuing their mission. 

JULY 31: MORE SOLDIERS KILLED IN ‘FRIENDLY FIRE’

Philippine Air Force UH-1 helicopter hovers above a field as smoke bellows from the buildings at Marawi City's central district in the background following a spate of aerial attacks from government forces. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Another government air strike missed an enemy target, resulting in the injury of 11 soldiers and the death of 2 others. The military said the air strike caused several structures to collapse on the group of soldiers.

AUGUST 22: MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY REOPENS

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

AUGUST 25: MILITARY RETAKES GRAND MOSQUE

Grand Mosque

Military forces gained control of the Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the strife-torn city of Marawi. The mosque was used as one of the main hideouts of terrorists led by the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups.

AUGUST 27: MAUTE PATRIARCH DIES

The remains of Cayamora Maute in the Golden Mosque in Quiapo, Manila before the burial in Norzagaray, Bulacan

Cayamora Maute, the father of 2 men who led the deadly siege of Marawi, passed away after being rushed to the Taguig-Pateros Hospital. The Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) said the Maute patriarch was already in “critical condition” before he passed away.

SEPT. 1: MUSLIMS MARK EID AL-ADHA AS FIGHTING CONTINUES

A young Muslim copies his elder Muslims. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

The battle for Marawi claimed the lives of 3 more soldiers on the eve of Eid al-Adha even as Muslims in the besieged city pray for peace during their observance of the feast of sacrifice. 

SEPT. 17: MILITARY RESCUES FR. CHITO SUGANOB

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob, vicar general of the prelature of Marawi is presented to the media by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, 2 days after his rescue from the Maute group. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Fr. Chito Suganob, a Catholic priest held captive for months by the Maute group was rescued by state forces after they recovered the Bato mosque in Marawi City.

SEPT. 22: MILITARY RETAKES MASIU BRIDGE

The military reclaimed the Raya Madaya Bridge, better known as Masiu Bridge—a strategic link within the vicinity of Agus River and Lanao Lake.

On this day, the military also announced that terrorists control an area of less than 10 hectares in the city.

OCTOBER 16: ISNILON HAPILON, OMAR MAUTE KILLED IN MILITARY ASSAULT

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año shows photos of Omarkhayam Maute (left) and Isnilon Hapilon (right) and during a press conference at a military camp in Marawi on Monday. Hapilon, said to be the head of the Islamic state group in Southeast Asia was killed during a battle between government forces in Marawi on Monday. Froilan Gallardo, ABS-CBN News

Isnilon Hapilon, and Omar Maute, top leaders of the Maute group, were killed in a military assault early morning.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the whereabouts of Hapilon and Maute, who were holed up in a building in Marawi City, were divulged by a female hostage who managed to escape.

OCTOBER 17: MARAWI IS FREE

A Philippine flag is seen on a bulletproof vest of a soldier in Marawi City, Philippines, June 12, 2017. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

President Duterte announced the liberation of Marawi City from terrorist clutches, more than 4 months since the crisis began.

Duterte’s announcement comes a day after terror leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed by government troops in a military assault.

A task force for the rehabilitation of Marawi has been ordered created by the President with an initial allocation of P20 billion. The government has estimated the rebuilding of the city to take around 2 to 3 years.