Philippines: Cost of Marawi war reaches USD 59 m and counting

The Marawi battle has already killed 522 Maute terrorists and 128 government personnel in Philippines.

Picture for representation
Debris and fire is seen after an OV-10 Bronco aircraft released a bomb, during an airstrike, as government forces continue their assault against insurgents from the Maute group, who have taken over large parts of Marawi City, Philippines June 19, 2017. Reuters

The Philippine government through its Department of National Defense announced that the estimated expense of the Marawi City war has already reached USD 59 million and is still counting.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told Philippine journalists, during a press briefing, that the total expenses incurred since May 2017 by the Philippine Army Air Force and Philippine Marines have already reached the said amount.

The ongoing battle has already killed 522 Maute terrorists in the repeated artillery and airstrikes in Marawi City. However, at least 128 government personnel have also lost their lives. The horror doesn't end here, 45 civilians were also reportedly killed in the battle.

Lorenzana said he is working to seek Philippine lawmakers to replenish those funds because the military already has taken some funds from other project sources. These funds were rechanneled for the Marawi battle expenses that include bullet proof vests, helmet and night vision goggles.

The budget committee of the House of Congress is expected to meet to discuss the budget of the AFP.

"It will take another two months of operations to end this war but we are not rushing because according to President Duterte if we rush to end the war, many soldiers will die," Lorenzana estimated.

While the military claimed earlier that less than a hundred militants are left in only two villages, they are still trying to flush them out without taking any risk with the lives of the hostages.