Duterte to crush terrorism with thousands of new troops
President Rodrigo Duterte announced plans Wednesday to hire 30,000 new troops to quell terrorism in the south amid bigger threats than the May 23 attack on Marawi by the Daesh-linked Maute group.
Duterte asked lawmakers a day earlier to allot money for 20,000 new soldiers and 10,000 police to crush terrorism in Mindanao, according to a Manila Times report. The amount Duterte asked for was not disclosed.
The president was quoted as telling reporters Wednesday he needs additional funds to fight the opposition.
"I have to fund the military. I have to reorganize the police. I need 20,000 new soldiers. It's depleted. And the police, I would need about 10 battalions of Special Action Force-trained [personnel]," he said.
Duterte sought the support of senators who were present during a security briefing Tuesday in Malacañang, to address "new security threats" in Mindanao that is under martial law until the year's end.
The fighting in Marawi entered its 72nd day Wednesday, with military officials saying it will soon be over with state troops dislodging the final pockets of resistance from the Maute terrorists.
"The fighting is reduced to house to house, building to building, floor to floor, and chamber to chamber," MindaNews quoted Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año.
According to Año, the troops on the frontlines told him there is a noticeable decrease of resistance from the Daesh-linked Maute gunmen compared to weeks ago.
"We will finish Marawi very soon," Año said.