Terror threat a reality that must be confronted: Army chief

MANILA The threat of terrorism, as exposed in the fivemonth long Marawi City siege, is a reality the world needs to confront.

"The threat of terrorism is omnipresent and unavoidable in this day and age. It is a reality that the free world must now confront. The Siege of the City of Marawi, opened the eyes of countries in our part of the world, to the realities of terrorism," Philippine Army (PA) commander Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito Bautista said during their 121st anniversary rites Tuesday.

The fighting, which started May 23 to Oct, 23, 2017, subsequently resulted in the death of more than 1,000 military, police, civilian and Maute Group terrorists aside from causing billions of pesos worth of damages in public and private infrastructure in Marawi City.

Despite challenges and losses, however, the Army managed to neutralize the Maute Group terrorists which proved its capability to defend the country against security threats.

"The Army served as the main effort to address and neutralize the ISISMaute terrorist group in a protracted battle for the liberation of the City of Marawi. Having no less than our CommanderinChief, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who entered the main battle area at the height of the firefight, inspired and motivated every AFP, PNP and Coastguard personnel to perform their mandate to rescue the hostages and neutralize all the terrorists," Bautista said.

He also attributed the desire of military personnel, wounded in the fierce battles, to continue fighting with the President's unwavering support.

"His unwavering support made even some of the wounded to refuse medical evacuation in order to be able to go back to the frontlines," he added.

In the liberation of Marawi City, the Army managed to get the better of their terrorist enemies in the urban terrain by swiftly making the necessary adjustments tailoring its tactics, techniques and procedures to suit the difficult urban environment.

"Thinking out of the box, the army outmaneuvered the ISISMaute terrorists and shook their core, resulting in the neutralization of about 900 terrorists, headed by the FBI's most wanted terrorist, Isnilon Hapilon and the Maute Brothers," Bautista added.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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