Duterte arrives in Misamis Oriental airport

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte arrived at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental at around noon Friday on a visit to Iligan City.

Duterte is reportedly set to visit wounded government troopers who are confined at the Sanitarium General Hospital in Iligan City.

From the hospital, the President would reportedly visit the evacuation centers in Balo-I and Buruun, all municipal towns in Lanao Del Norte and in Iligan City where about 1,000 persons from Marawi City are temporarily staying.

It was not known whether the President would fly to Marawi City, which is about 45 kilometers from Iligan City, to conduct a personal assessment of the situation in the conflict-torn Islamic city.

The top cabinet officials who arrived as advance party at about 2:30 p.m. in Iligan City include Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año.

Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao arrived Friday morning at the provincial capitol in Marawi City.

Hataman appealed to the Abu Sayaff and the Maute group to stop the fighting and leave Marawi City in deference to the observance of the holy month of Ramadan.

”If the Abu Sayaff and the Maute group believed in the basic principles of the Islamic faith, they should leave the Muslim people to peacefully observe the month of Ramadan, which would start on Saturday,” Hataman said.

Hataman said that what the Abu Sayaff and the Maute group did in Marawi City runs counter to the teachings of Islam. CD/PNA-northboundasia.com