CAMP RANAO, Marawi City– Defense and security officials visited Marawi for the fourth time last 07 July 2017 –Day 46 since the rebellion erupted in that city in 23 May 2017.
Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other officials of the Department of National Defense accompanying him and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año with AFP Major Service Commanders, Joint Staff, and Personal Staff joining him received an extensive briefing from the Commander of Joint Task Force Marawi and concurrent Commander of Army 1st Infantry Division Brigadier General Rolando Bautista who leads the operations in Marawi.
After the 25-minute briefing, a thorough deliberation and assessment followed unhampered. Secretary Lorenzana and General Año each had the opportunity to appreciate, inquire about, and provided inputs on the ends, ways, and means of the ongoing operations. Adjustments necessary to enhance the concepts of operation and lines of effort to end the 46-day old crises were discussed.
The assessments of enemy strengths and how to negate or counter them; the evaluation of enemy weaknesses and how to exploit them; and the determination of essential adjustments in the tactics, techniques and procedures currently applied by government security forces were among the highlights of the activity.
The confluence of ideas and experiences of top defense and security officials who were also present like former AFP Chief and now National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Presidential Assistant for Military Affairs Arthur Tabaquero, and the actual observations of frontline commanders of AFP and PNP made the deliberation fruitful.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez, Jr., the Commander of Western Mindanao Command who supervises the operation took advantage of the presence of the Commanders of the three Major Services of the AFP to discuss peculiar requirements from the force providers.
The Flag Officer in Command, Philippine Navy Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado; Commanding General of the Philippine Air Force Lieutenant General Edgar Fallorina; and the Commanding General of the Philippine Army represented by Major General Harold Cabreros, the Vice Commander, each expressed their unwavering support to their deployed forces and commitment to help in the immediate resolution of the crisis in Marawi.
“We draw closer to the conclusion of this crisis each day.
“We are constantly and daily gaining battle space while the terrorists’ grounds recede by the day as our troops press-on relentlessly with their advance.
“We have the momentum; we dictate the operational tempo; we have the support of the people at large. Thus we are confident that the triumph of the forces of good against that of evil is irreversible.
“It is just a matter of time,” said General Eduardo Año, the AFP Chief.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana assures that, “Government has trailed it focus on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi as the defeat of the Maute-ISIS Group looms with the military operations and the cooperation of local government.
“Aided by the principled and properly guided implementation of Martial Law, the collapse of the terrorists support infrastructure is assured.
“And with the overwhelming support of fellow Filipinos in general and local residents in particular, we can altogether deter terrorists from causing further havoc in other parts of our country.”
As at 6 PM of 08 July 2017, the terrorists have suffered 367 killed and a total of 367 firearms have been recovered from them. There were 39 civilians they have mercilessly killed or executed. Meanwhile, 1,722 civilians who were held hostage or trapped in the main battle were either rescued or brought out of harms way.
It is overwhelming how Filipinos here and abroad, and citizens from other parts of the globe, manifest their unqualified support to the troops.
Specifically for the orphans of soldiers Killed-in-Action, the cash donations as at close of banking hours of 07 July 2017 have already exceeded Php3.22 Million.
For the Internally Displaced Persons, the cash deposit has reached over Php0.764 Million.
Pledges of support from private corporations, among them San Miguel Corporation, are also being processed such as Livelihood Package of Php2 Million for the orphans of soldiers killed in Marawi. ### AFP