THE month of October kicked off with an Orientation on Anti-Terrorism Campaign/Briefing on Violent Extremism and a Film Showing of “Ang Misyon: The Marawi Siege Story” held on October 1, 2018 at Pagadian City Gymnasium.
This as the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur under Governor Antonio Cerilles joins the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) in the campaign against Terrorism and Violent Extremism.
A huge crowd consisting of local leaders of the province attended the said orientation together with their respective municipal and city mayors. Also present in the occasion were Governor Antonio H. Cerilles together with 2nd District Representative Aurora E. Cerilles and members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan headed by Board Member Marlyn N. Revelo.
The event was graced by the presence of BGEN Jacinto R Bareng, Assistant Division Commander for Operations, 1ID, PA, representing MGEN Roseller G Murillo Division Commander, 1ID, PA, as the guest speaker. Together with him were LT. Col. Gremel B Brual, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, 1ID, PA and LT. Col. Marlowe E Patria, Battalion Commader, 53rd IB, 1ID, PA. The rationale of the activity was explained by DILG Provincial Director Arnel Gudio.
The event aims to inform the people through their local leaders about terrorism and violent extremism and how to avoid it so that what happen in Marawi City will not happen in other areas especially in Mindanao.
Governor Cerilles stressed that if the information, about the presence of armed men in Marawi, from the residents and local officials had reached the authorities, the siege would not have happened. “We should know our task to help the peace and order of our province,” Provincial Governor Antonio H. Cerilles added.
Local chief executives and some leaders extend their gratitude to the brave members of the armed forces of the Philippines for keeping the whole province safe and peaceful. In fact, during the celebration of the 66th Araw ng Zamboanga del Sur the brave men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police were awarded the Governor’s Commendation for their exceptional contribution to the peace and order of the province. Also, the members of the Bravo Coy, 53rd Infantry “Matapat” Battalion of the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division were awarded for their bravery and sacrifices to liberated Marawi during the Marawi Siege.
“Peace and Order is everybody’s concern” – San Miguel Mayor Angelito Martinez.
“As local leaders we are part of the solution” – San Pablo Mayor Danilo Taucan.
“We should never allow criminality” – Pagadian City Vice-Mayor Ernesto Mondarte.
“Marawi is enough, kinahanglan wala nay mo sunod sa Marawi” – Board Member Belman Mantos.
Concluding the event, 2nd District Representative Aurora E. Cerilles left an inspirational message for the leaders think of. “This is our time to join hands and coordinate efforts to carry out a well sustain crusade against terrorism. We need to raise the bar of public awareness of the modus operande of terrorist and the distractive effect of terrorism. We cannot defeat terrorism with closed eyes. Or silence only means that we are letting the terrorist do whatever they want to do.”
In unison, all the participants, the guests and the municipal, city and provincial officials shouted NO TO TERRORISM! NO TO VIOLENCE!
Siege of Marawi on May 23, 2017, Maute rebels took siege of Marawi, following gunfight with the Philippine army and national police. Philippine intelligence reported that some of the ISIS-linked fighters in Marawi traveled from abroad, including from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Middle East. (Sources: Standard, ABS-CBN News, Reuters, Reuters, ABS-CBN).
On October 16, 2017, Philippine government forces launched an offensive attack to take back the last areas of Marawi held by militants, killing leaders Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute. After 154 days of the siege, October 23, 2017, Defense Secretary Lorenzana declared that the military had ceased combat operations in the city. The five-month siege reportedly left more than 1,100 fighters and civilians dead, including more than 900 militants, and has displaced at least 400,000 residents and severely destroyed the city, especially its commercial center. (Sources: New York Times, Rappler).
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