By: Jeoffrey Maitem - @inquirerdotnetPhilippine Daily Inquirer
MARAWI CITY— The City Hall here reopened for business on Monday even as government forces pressed an operation to dislodge Islamic State-linked terrorists holed up in the city’s commercial district.
The ground and some structures shook from the impact of airstrikes and artillery bombardment as Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra led his staff and employees in a flag-raising ceremony at the City Hall premises.
Gandamra said City Hall would be open for business only on Mondays and Wednesdays.
“Despite the threat, we have to operate even on a limited basis. It’s not every day but as much as possible, we will be holding office Mondays and Wednesdays so that we can make resolutions in support to our humanitarian efforts,” he said.
Gandamra said members of the city council would also report for work.
He said the military had been provided with a list of government employees who would report for work twice a week.
“The bulk of our operation to address the needs of our constituents is in our command center in Iligan City because most of our displaced people are staying there,” he said.
Lt. Col. Christopher Tampus, commander of the Army’s 1st Infantry Battalion assigned to secure the City Hall, told reporters that the building was within range of sniper fire. —With a report from Christine O. Avendaño in Manila