Philippine private sector helps kin of fallen troops


President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday led a ceremonial turnover of financial assistance from the private sector for the families of slain government troops in the long-drawn battle in Marawi.

Duterte extended his condolences to the victims' families and expressed the country's appreciation for the sacrifices of the troops while acknowledging that no amount of financial aid can lessen the grief of their families.

"May you find solace in the fact that the whole nation condoles with you in these trying times. The Philippines will be forever grateful for their heroism," said Duterte at the ceremony held at the presidential office and attended by top government officials and businessmen.

Each family will receive 1.25 million pesos ($24,700) from the private sector, said Duterte.

Of this, 250,000 pesos ($4,900) was raised by the nonprofits, Go Negosyo and DU30 Cabinet Spouses Association, while 1 million pesos ($19,700) was provided by an unnamed sponsor.

Duterte extended his gratitude to the private sector, especially to the single donor, who he said did not want to be publicly identified.

A total of 109 government troops have been killed in clashes in Marawi as of Tuesday.

The clashes broke out May 23 when a Daesh-linked terror group attacked the city, prompting Duterte to declare martial law across the southern island of Mindanao.

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