by Ike Suarez
The Philippine Senate passed Resolution No. 109, sponsored by Senator Richard Gordon and signed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday, May 28, 2018, officially recognizing and honoring the gallantry, bravery, sacrifice, and heroism of the men and women in uniform under Joint Task Force (JTF) Marawi, especially those killed and wounded, by designating them “Heroes of Marawi.”
The ISIS-Maute terrorist group held Marawi City captive from May 23 to Oct 17, 2017 as they sought to make the Islamic City the base for their operations in all of Southeast Asia.
Speaking on the Senate floor on behalf of the resolution, Senator Gordon said it is “but fitting that at the commemoration, we remember our brave, valiant, and gallant soldiers for their heroic task that prevented the takeover of a part of the Philippine territory by ISIS-affiliated militants.”
The resolution noted that 165 troops were killed and another 1,767 were wounded during the five-month battle to liberate the city. It further pointed out that JTF Marawi rescued 1,723 civilians.
The resolution also gave recognition to the help, assistance, and support of nongovernment organizations and volunteers, including humanitarian relief volunteers such as the UNICEF, Philippine Red Cross, Tarlac Heritage Livelihood Foundation, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, Rotary Club of Padre Burgos Manila, and Kilos Kabataan Livelihood Foundation.
The resolution noted that these groups and volunteers greatly facilitated the success of JTF Marawi in neutralizing the terrorists.
It further said that ”while we honor those killed in action, let us also not forget the wounded in action, who may not be able to return to a useful life, and the selfless volunteers who did what they could, in service of country, without seeking favor or remuneration from the government.”
Former JTF Marawi Commander and now Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Lieutenant General Rolando Joselito D. Bautista was among those who witnessed the proceedings on the resolution in the Senate floor.
With Lt. Gen. Bautista were high ranking officers of the AFP and PNP who witnessed the resolution’s unanimous approval.
Troops from the various branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) composed the JTF Marawi. (ORC.Army.PH)
In photo: Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Sen. Richard Gordon, and Sen. Gringo Honasan, present a copy of the Senate Resolution officially recognizing and honoring the gallantry, bravery, sacrifice, and heroism of the men and women in uniform under Joint Task Force (JTF) Marawi, especially those killed and wounded, by designating them “Heroes of Marawi” to the Philippine Army contingent led by Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, Commanding General, Philippine Army and former Commander, JTF Marawi. (Photo credit: Joel Paras)