Marawi Bishop Edward Dela Peña’s phone rang before 8 p.m. on May 23, 2017. It was his secretary’s number calling. The bishop was away and had been waiting for news all afternoon, praying fervently that church workers at the Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi were safe from the violence unfolding in the city. 'To my surprise, it was the voice of an angry man on the other line. He was already giving me his demands.'
The commander of the elite team of the military scanned the narrow street to search for the safe house that matched the description he was provided. He was told it was a blue apartment-type house with a black gate. But there was no blue house and there was no black gate.
Task Force Bangon Marawi field manager Felix Castro said the task force is racing against time and working round-the-clock in its reconstruction effort, even though it has already made great progress in bringing the city back to its former state.
A family is told it can no longer pay taxes for a residential property in Brgy. Datu sa Dansalan because government projects will be constructed on their land. Mayor Majul Gandamra says it sits on reclaimed land, which he says the government owns.