MARAWI CITY – As government troops battled it out againt Maute rebels, a man in his 70s, Rolando Monsato, was holed up in his home’s bathroom together with his son; fervently praying to survive the difficulty.
With no proper food and no potable water around, he relied on bananas and toilet water for five days, until military forces brought him to safety Tuesday.
The visibly fragile 72-year-old said he had not eaten for five days and was hiding inside a comfort room when soldiers passing by his house saved him.
Monsato was only among hundreds trapped in Marawi, where military and police troops are fighting off the rebels.
The violence began Tuesday when dozens of gunmen went on a burning and killing spree throughout Marawi in response to an attempt by security forces to arrest the terrorist Isnilon Hapilon.
Most of the city’s 200,000 residents have fled since the militants torched several buildings, including a school and a church. The government troops battled Maute group, but 2,000 remain trapped in areas controlled by the militants.
The fighting, which has an increasing death toll, has prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to place Mindanao under martial law.
The Philippine government is continuing its efforts not just to fight off the rebel group, but to save lives and rescue trapped citizens in the process.
Watch the video report by ANC: