Malacañang said that the military is “able and willing to deal: with any new terrorist threat that might surface.”
The statement came after Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely told The Manila Times the terrorists responsible for the Marawi conflict could be regrouping and powering up for another strike elsewhere.
According Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr., the government is monitoring the situation and won’t be afraid to strike back if a violent situation arise. Roque also said that Gorely’s statement only verified what the government already knew.
“I think that has been a shared view with our armed forces, which prompted in fact the decision to extend the declaration of martial law in Mindanao,” Roque said.
Murad Ebrahim, the chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), also said last week that IS-inspired terrorists in Mindanao planned to initiate another siege in either Iligan City or Cotabato City.
According to Office of Civil Defense Assistant Secretary Toby Purisima, the total damage caused by the siege amounted to approximately P11.5 billion. The recovery and rehabilitation of the city could cost about P51.6 billion.