Female soldiers, including snipers, fighting the Maute terrorists in Mindano have endeared themselves to their Filipinos — and the media.
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On Tuesday, CNN ran a story that sheds light on the fearless female fighters of the Philippine military in Marawi who have joined the battle against the Daesh-inspired terrorists, who also include foreign militants.
The Mautes, also known as the so-called the “Islamic State of Lanao”, are a radical group of Filipino and foreign cohorts who seek to establish a “caliphate” in Southeast Asia.
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Clashes between government troops and extremists erupted last May 23 in Marawi City as state forces attempted to arrest terror leader Isnilon Hapilon, anointed as the region’s Daesh chief.
Some 100 terrorists are still holding numerous civilians as human shields and have reportedly used female hostages as sex slaves, according to the military.
The CNN video shows the female soldiers fighting the terror group. It’s no surprise that women have joined the thick of the battle.
A law passed in 1993 requires the elite Philippine Military Academy (PMA) to admit women. Since then, more than 600 female cadets have graduated from the elite academy.
Eight out of the Top 10 graduates of PMA’s Class of 2017 are females. In 2013, four female cadets made it to the academy’s top 10, while four of the Top 10 graduates of the class 2005 were women.
This year’s class valedictorian, Mariel Martinez, said it was her dream to enter the armed services.
At least 400 people, including 303 militants and 75 government troops, have died in the firefights while more than 200,000 residents have fled the city since clashes began.