The gallantry, bravery, sacrifice, and heroism of the men and women in uniform under Joint Task Force (JTF) Marawi has finally been recognized through the resolution sponsored by Senator Richard Gordon, and signed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III. The Senate Resolution No. 109 has designated our troops as “Heroes of Marawi.”
When the ISIS-Maute terrorist group held Marawi City captive on May 23, 2017 as they sought to make the Islamic City the base for their operations in all of Southeast Asia, the troops of the Philippine Army along side with the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy and Marines, Philippine National Police, and Philippine Coast Guard bravely fought the terrorist until they have freed the city from terror on October 17, 2017.
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.