Robredo's Christmas message: Remember victims of Marawi conflict

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Vice President Leni Robredo reminds Filipinos to spend time together this holiday season. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 24) — In her Christmas message Sunday, Vice President Leni Robredo reminded the public to remember those affected by the Marawi crisis.

"Sa kabila ng kasaganahan at kasiyahan, alalahanin natin ang mga kapatid nating nasa Marawi. Nagsisimula pa lamang silang bumangon mula sa gulo ng hidwaang naganap ngayong taon," the Vice President said.

[Translation: Amid the prosperity and celebration, let us remember our brothers in Marawi. They are just starting to recover from the recent conflict.]

She reminded Filipinos to be grateful and to spend time together this holiday season.

"Para sa mga nawalan ng mga mahal sa buhay o 'di kaya ay nagpapagaling pa lamang sa mga karamdamang dala ng bala at pulbura, mahirap harapin ang Pasko. Ngunit sa pagkakaisa, maiibsan ang lungkot na dala nito," she added.

[Translation: For those who lost loved ones in the war, or those who are just healing from wounds left by bullets and gunpowder, it would be difficult to celebrate Christmas. But with unity comes healing.]

The crisis in Marawi City, which lasted for almost five months, claimed the lives of 165 government troops and 47 civilians in clashes with ISIS-inspired terrorist group Maute.

President Rodrigo Duterte had declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, when the attempted takeover of the city began.

A total of 359,680 people in Marawi have been displaced by the war.

Robredo visited the city's main battle area on November 16. She had earlier proposed to preserve the ruins left by the clashes to serve as a monument for the fallen troops, but her suggestion drew criticism from other government officials.

Read the Vice President's full message below: