• Palace calls on public to honor Marawi heroes at high-noon salute

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    Malacañang on Monday called on the public to join the government in honoring soldiers and civilians killed in fighting between government forces and Islamic State-linked terrorists in Marawi City.

    “Today as the nation observes Independence Day we will pay homage to the fallen soldiers of Marawi,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

    “We would likewise remember all the innocent victims who perished as a result of rebel atrocities committed,” he added.

    Abella said the names of the soldiers will be flashed on television and read over the radio at 12 noon on Monday for the “high noon salute.”

    He said it is “a tribute to their heroism for making the ultimate sacrifice for the flag and the country we dearly love.”

    “We enjoin the public to honor these heroes and civilians and pray for them and the families they left behind,” Abella added.

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said taps will be sounded after the reading of the fallen soldiers’ names.

    Fifty-eight government troops have been killed in action since the clashes in Marawi City started on May 22.

    On June 9, 13 Marines were killed in what could have been the most intense firefight in the city. The casualties were members of Marine Battalion Landing Team-7, which was deployed to Marawi on June 1.

    The military earlier announced that it was expecting to liberate Marawi City on Independence Day.

    However, AFP Chief Eduardo Año on Sunday said they may need “a few more days” to clear the city of Maute presence.

    Despite the continued firefight, the government is making sure the Philippine flag is flying all over the conflict-torn city. CATHERINE VALENTE

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