At the 2017 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) this Monday, trade talks were at the top of the agenda, but Trump also took the opportunity to congratulate Duterte for his strong stance on terror, and the liberation of the city of Marawi last month.
Militants aligned with ISIS took hold of the city in May and what was supposed to be a two week battle turned into a five month long siege, where the Philippine military (assisted by U.S. intelligence, weapons and funding of 13.6 million dollars) struggled to take down the highly equipped and skilled opposition.
But, the battle is far from over. This is a Muslim majority region, prone to sectarian violence and anti-government sentiment for close to a decade. Now the state will have to re-build trust within a shaken and fragile community, as residents cautiously return to the outskirts of the city.
VICE News was there at the height of the battle in June and returned to count the cost of war.
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