Month: September 2017

Personnel from the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operation of Joint Task Force Marawi (OJTFM7) participated in the “I TEACH PEACE Facilitators Training Workshop” organized by Teach Peace Build Peace Movement on September 15-18, 2017 at Midway Beach Resort, Misamis Oriental.

A total of 47 participants joined in the workshop including 7 soldiers from OJTFM7, 5 police personnel from Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office, Lanao del Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, and other Maranao civilian volunteers from various sectors.

“In this activity, we were able to train another batch of I TEACH PEACE facilitators who will be conducting different peace education sessions in the evacuation centers for the affected children in the Marawi crisis,” said Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, founding president and executive director of Teach Peace Build Peace Movement.

Teach Peace Build Peace is a non-government organization with a mission of making every Filipino child and youth a peace builder. It is composed of an expanding network of active and empowered young generations of different faiths, cultures and ethnic groups who are working together as prime movers in building a culture of peace.

“Our organization’s guiding principle is derived from the belief that every child has an innate quality of tolerance and unbiased- ness and that prejudice is subsequently learned later in life. It is vital that we develop their ability to foster peace in this critical period by using an intergenerational approach on peace education, servant leadership and on the implementation of innovative and creative strategies: Music, Arts, Games, Sports and Community Service,” Sumndad-Usman said.

The participants were trained on various interactive activities that provide interfaith and intercultural dialogues and are designed to develop the values of compassion, service to others, empowerment, equality, respect and understanding. “This is the very foundation of a just and peaceful society where every individual practices peace as a way of life,” Sumndad-Usman said.

“The approach of the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement is: we have to “Teach Peace to build a Culture of Peace. We have to build a Culture of Peace to create different generations of peace builders toward our goal of a just and peaceful society,” Sumndad-Usman said.

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi and Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division said: “As we continue to build strong partnerships with various civilian organizations, this is one of the initiatives of your Joint Task Force Marawi to ensure that those children displaced by the crisis in Marawi City are given adequate community support for peace building programs. With your help and support to your soldiers, we can build a lasting peaceful environment for Mindanao.”

Teach Peace Build Peace Movement can be reached website: https://teachpeacebuildpeace.com, mobile numbers: +639158480230, landline:. (02) 927-3119, email: secretariat@teachpeacebuildpeace.com, teachbuildpeace@gmail.com.

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(Message of Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division/Joint Task Force Marawi during the Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization Forum of the Asia Foundation at Mindanao State University Main Campus, Marawi City on August 25, 2017)

Our peace building activities and engagements with communities are aimed at increasing our understanding and awareness of the importance of countering violent extremism.

Violent extremism or radicalization leads to terrorism and the most vulnerable sector is the youth. We have uncovered the extent of radical indoctrination among young Filipinos recruits in the ongoing Marawi crisis where young people formed the main forces of the ISIS-inspired Maute/Abu Sayaff terrorist groups.

The major hindrances toward achieving peace are the gaps between our faith our cultures, economic and social status and even power and politics. These result to a polarized or divided society and readily exploited by terrorist organizations, highlighting religious narratives for their own purposes.

We are clear on the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division/Joint Task Force Marawi’s strategy on Civil-Military Operations (CMO) of the need to establish proactive programs addressing the issues of violent extremism and radicalization.

Even before the Marawi crisis, we have conducted initiatives to empower our troops to build necessary knowledge and skills in reaching out to the community and bringing your soldiers closer to the people we serve

Various seminars and trainings were conducted including Stakeholder Engagement Seminars and Harnessing Community Support Trainings for our troops.

We also designed methodologies in facilitating collaboration with community leaders and stakeholders to be our partners in conducting peace building undertakings.

Our Digital Media Management Training Series provided our troops a set of trainings for digital product development and organizing online initiatives including website content development and social media management.

Our Radio Broadcasting Training equipped our troops in conducting radio programs for information dissemination. These trainings prepared our troops for efficient key leader engagements for building relationships with government and business leaders for community defense enhancements.

Your Army participated in the launching of the Negosyo Center for Lanao del Sur here in Marawi City a few days before the crisis.

During the crisis, we concurrently conduct peace building and psychosocial initiatives. These are included in the series of activities to establish peaceful communities and prevent the recurrence of violence.

Our youth leadership empowerment initiatives encourage the youth to take an active role in peace building activities in their communities.

The delivery of our CMO programs ensures the successful implementation of humanitarian missions including relief operations, community engagements and psychosocial activities to affected communities.

Even after this crisis, we will continue our peace building and psychosocial initiatives to sustain CMO activities to build long-lasting peaceful communities.

When you combine hard power and soft power, it becomes smart power. We intend to maintain strong support and partnerships in rehabilitating Marawi with the people we serve and with the community we serve.

Narito po kami upang kayo ay paglingkuran at protektahan.

Kasama po kayo, ang ating pagkakaisa ay maghahatid sa atin tungo sa pagbangon muli ng Marawi.

Maraming salamat at mabuhay ang ating bayan!

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Marawi City, September 16, 2017 – Troops under Joint Task Force Marawi earlier today, September 16, 2017, seized Bato Mosque and Jamaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation (JIMF) located in the main battle area of Marawi City.

The assault with firefights still ongoing as of 5pm today, however, resulted to 4 wounded-in-action from the government side and 1 enemy killed.

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi said the Bato Mosque served as the location of the enemy command and control where high value individuals are located. About 30 male hostages were imprisoned in Bato Mosque.

“Our troops reclaimed the Bato Mosque, which is significant to the history of Maranaos. It was the location of ancient settlement of early Dansalan settlers in Marawi City but the terrorist desecrated and bastardized it by using the mosque as storage of armory and looted items,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

The JMIF or “pink building” was the location where female hostages were kept since the early stage of the siege.

Meanwhile, government troops of the Philippine Marines contingent assaulted and cleared Jamaitul Philippine Al-Islamiya (JPI) school where 1 enemy killed in a 5-hour firefight yesterday, September 15, 2017. Troops recovered several IEDs and assorted cellphones and other gadgets that may be used as trigerring devices for IEDs.

JPI is the first Islamic University in the Philippines.

Maj. Gen. Danilo Pamonag, Commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident said: “The enemy is further pushed back and their forces weaken everyday. It is only a matter of time that the crisis will end.”

“In this final stage of enemy assaults, we will eventually win the war against terrorism in Marawi City. We are now conducting the initial works toward rehabilitation. The hundreds of thousands Marawi City residents will finally move on to the next chapter of this crisis after the nightmare perpetrated by the terrorists,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.

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Rappler.com presents a video on an emotional Joint Task Force Marawi Commander Brig. Gen. Rolly Buatista’s message to Maranaos: “Marami sa aming mga kasamahan ang nagbuwis ng buhay. Tatapusin natin ang krisis na ito hindi lang para sa ating mga sundalo kundi lalo na para sa ating mga kapatid na Maranao.”

Red more at https://www.rappler.com/nation/182103-marawi-crisis-surrender-feelers

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Kuta Cesar L Sang-An, Labangan, Zamboanga Del Sur, September 13, 2017 – The Provincial Government of Zamboanga Del Sur gave tribute to awarded “most outstanding” soldiers and police personnel during the 65th Araw ng Zamboanga del Sur, Peace and Order Night.

This year’s the uniformed personnel who give extraordinary efforts in the provincial government’s campaign in maintaining peace and order in the whole region were recognized on September 13, 2017 with the event theme: “Padayon nga Kauswagan, Seguridad sa Katawhan Ampingan.”

Brigadier General Nixon M. Fortes, Assistant Division Commander for Administration and Logistics of the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, with staff officers from line and OPCON units attended the event at the Provincial Government Center, Dao, Pagadian City.

The Peace and Order Night was part of the weeklong celebration of the founding anniversary of Province of Zamboanga del Sur led by Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio H. Cerilles.

BGen. Fortes represented BGen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of 1ID, PA and Joint Task Force Marawi, as the Guest of Honor and Keynote speaker of the event.

BGen. Fortes stated his appreciation for the untiring support of the provincial government of Zamboanga Del Sur in the campaign against on illegal drugs and counter insurgency in the region. He encouraged everyone to revive the sense of urgency of the people of Zamboanga del Sur to maintain peace and order.

“As we continue the fight for peace and progress, we ask for your cooperation and unending support. We will not only win the peace, but we will secure the peace as well”, BGen. Fortes said.

The highlight of the occasion was the awarding of the Most Outstanding Officers and personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police assigned in the province.

The three Tabak Troopers who were recognized because of their “extraordinary effort to attain peace and order in their area of operation” are: Lt. Col. Virgilio C. Hamos, Jr., Commanding Officer of 53rd Infantry Battalion; 1Lt. Jose Aristheo M. Pamor, Commanding Officer of Alpha Company, 55th Infantry Battalion; and Cpl. Edmundo G. Tayrus, Civil-Military Operation officer, Charlie Company, 44th Infantry Battalion.

“This occasion can build harmonious relationships among the AFP and PNP who are at the frontlines of bringing peace and order to our local communities,” BGen. Fortes said.

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As our troops continue with their efforts to eventually neutralize Maute/Abu Sayyaf terrorist group and bravely face danger to bring back peace in Marawi City, popular men’s clothing brand Bench donated 6,000 gift packages about P5-million worth for members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP).

The gift packages were handed over by Ben Chan of Bench to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on September 11, 2017 at Malacañan Palace. Executive Secretary Salvador C Medialdea and Presidential Security Group (PSG) Chief of Staff Col. Potenciano Camba facilitated the turn over of the gift packages.

The PSG transported the items via C130 flight to Marawi at two o’clock this morning. The donation from Bench was turned over to the office of Civil-Military Operations Coordinating Center (CMOCC) in Kampo Ranao, Marawi City at around 6:00pm on September 12, 2017. Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, Joint Task Force Marawi CMOCC chief said “these gift packages will be distributed immediately to our troops.”

Sec. Medialdea expressed the President’s gratitude for the generosity of Bench. He told Chan: “When the President knew about the donation, he was excited and was asking me, ‘Nakarating na ba sa mga sundalo?’”

Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi said: “We are very thankful to Bench for this gift packages that also show gratitude to our troops who are fulfilling their mandate to serve our people and protect our land.”

PSG Commander Brig. Gen. Lope Dagoy said: “While securing the President, PSG is also building partnerships with different stakeholders in order to support the troops on the ground like Marawi. This noble stakeholders’ engagement in support to our fighting troops is our way of boosting their morale in their pursuit to destroy the enemies of the state.”

Ben Chan is a prominent Chinese-Filipino entreprenuer who is the founder of the Philippines’ largest clothing chain, Bench, under the trademark Suyen Corporation. With his world class fashion style and hardworking ethic, he has expanded the Philippine clothing chain into international markets.

From being one of the most popular men’s clothing brand, “Bench has grown to include a ladies’ line, underwear, fragrances, housewares, snacks, and a wide array of other lifestyle products. Throughout the years, Bench has achieved the distinction of being present virtually in every retail space in the Philippines, and has built a worldwide network of stores and outlets, reaching as far as the United States, the Middle East, and China,” the company statement said.

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At early dawn today, September 12, 2017, around 1:19am, government troops from the Marines Special Operations Group under Joint Task Group Tiger engaged the Maute/Abu Sayyaf terrorist group in the main battle area of Marawi City.

The heavy firefight, which ensued about 30 minutes, yielded 5 confirmed killed on the enemy side with 4 enemy body counts. Two bodies were retrieved while the other two were left on the site because of dangerous circumstances. There was no casualty on the government side.

The recovered firearms from the enemy include 2 high-powered firearms and a night vision goggle.

“The troops’ fighting spirit is further boosted because of the recent strong motivation and encouragement of the Commander-in-Chief. The President’s recent presence in the main battle area has left a mark in our troops in their strong desire to end the crisis in Marawi,” Joint Task Force Marawi Commander Brigadier General Rolly Bautista said.

Major General Danilo Pamonag, Commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force Trident said: “The seamless integration of troops’ interoperability with their heightened morale in fighting the enemy has resulted to the quick and deliberate assault of enemy positions. This accomplishment shows that the enemy’s hold in Marawi City is decreasing day-by-day. It is only a matter of time that the crisis will end.”

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