MANILA -- The government had spent an estimated PHP4 billion in the five-month battle to liberate Marawi City from the clutches of the Maute Group terrorists.

This was bared by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana during the sidelines of the DND's 78th founding anniversary Monday.

"Walang akong figures ngayon but last time (I don't have figures now but last time), I think (total expenses) is close to PHP4 billion," he added.

This sum includes expenditures in ammunition, fuel, food, medicines and other combat necessities of the Army, Air Force and Navy.

Fighting in Marawi City started when government troops tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS Emir in Southeast Asia, Isnilon Hapilon, last May 23.

It was declared over last October 23 following the death of Hapilon and Omar Maute, one of the founders of the terror group.

The fighting killed an estimated 923 Maute terorrists and their allies, including three stragglers last week, and 165 government troops aside from costing billions in infrastructure damage. (PNA)