Victory Against Terrorism: Marawi leaders rejoice, manifest strong support to end violent extremism

The sun shines after the storm as terrorists fall. After almost five months of breathless waiting, the final verdict comes to our side.

Lt. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commanding General of the Philippine Army said: “ What happened to Marawi has taught us a lot of lessons on unity, courage and bravery. Now is the time to move forward. Instead of pointing fingers to somebody else’s failure and blur our vision for a brighter tomorrow, let us set our eyes on the glittering rays of triumph that is clearly seen on the horizon.”

Marawi could have been enslaved into the hands of terrorists if the leaders were afraid to face the eminent threats. Yet, their undying support all the way through painstaking battles against the terrorists was a decisive point to hold on to both military and civilian populace.

“They lamented, cried, and moved with compassion in seeing the devastations and sufferings of their people. But deep inside, their sparkling hope bested on the unwavering dedication of their servant soldiers who are willing to sacrifice and rally behind their struggle,” Lt. Gen. Bautista said.

While our fighting soldiers were tested and tried in a fiery furnace with seeming uncertainty, they came up victorious in the end, despite the fact they bleed and are deeply wounded.

Now is the time for healing and rising up for a new beginning.

To demonstrate their solidarity and strong commitment to end violent extremism and to avoid the same crisis in the future, various community leaders in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur province declared support for the government’s initiatives in sustaining efforts to rehabilitate the war-torn city and counter radicalization among the youth.

The provincial government including mayors of Lanao del Sur, confederation of sultanates, council of imams and ulama, and academe, business and professional services sector immediately convened on October 17, 2017 at the provincial capitol after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s declaration of Marawi City liberation.

The complicated process of rebuilding Marawi and sustainment of peace in the area were discussed during the event with panel members: National Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardi Año, Presidential Communication Operations Office Sec. Martin Andanar, National Defense Sec. Cesar Yano, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council chairman Eduardo del Rosario, Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers and Special Concerns Sec. Abdullah Mamao, Lanao del Sur Gov. Bedjoria Alonto-Adiong, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hatamanulama’s, and Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra.

Also present during the forum were AFP Western Mindanao Commander Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez and Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division Commander Brig. Gen. Roseller Murillo.

“Drawing inspiration from the debris of reasons to let go of the horrible nightmare of terror, the brighter future of Marawi and its people lies ahead. Your soldiers and the people of Marawi can one day attest to our children that indeed Marawi was liberated from the bondage of terrorists because of unity, courage and bravery,” Lt. Gen. Bautista said.

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