A total of 105 female soldiers and police flew to Marawi City on Tuesday to help victims of the ongoing war against IS-inspired Muslim extremists.
In send-off ceremonies at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Ano said the female contingent of the Community Relations Trainees (CRT) would have a “better understanding” of the current situation in the city.
”Majority of the victims from the siege, aside from young residents, were female,” said Ano in explaining why an all-women contingent was being sent.
Ano also said: “Marawi, the city of our Muslim brothers and sisters, has given importance to the women in our society. It’s part of the Filipino culture to protect and respect the women.”
The female military and police officers will also be assisting in the rehabilitation, rebuilding and reconstruction of Marawi City, said Ano.
The group is composed of four officials from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and one from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
From the 100 left, at least 60 are enlisted Philippine Army officers and 40 non-commissioned police officers.
Ano also said that he and President Rodrigo Duterte were able to talk to female officials and doctors within the main battle area when Duterte visited Marawi City last week.
“Even if we can see that they are already exhausted, we have not heard of any complains from them but rather, we can see through their eyes their joy,” he said.
Ano said additional contingents may be sent in the coming days to the war-torn city. DEMPSEY REYES