The Senate adopted Monday a resolution honoring as “Heroes of Marawi” the men and women, especially those killed or wounded, who fought against the Islamic State-inspired Maute group that occupied Marawi last year.
Senate Resolution No. 746, initiated by Senator Richard Gordon and co-authored by the rest of his colleagues, stated that the Marawi crisis, being the first urban warfare fought on Philippine soil, tested the capabilities and will power of government troops and set a new trajectory for how the military and police will overcome terrorism in the Philippines.
On May 23, 2017, government troops were to serve an arrest warrant against Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Isnilon Hapilon who was in Marawi City. The troops were surprised that Maute group were also in the area and attacked them.
The group then occupied the Amai Pakpak Hospital and other government offices and facilities in the city.
This prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law through Proclamation No. 216. On October 17, 2017 or 148 days later, Marawi City was liberated from ISIS-affiliated militants, leaving 165 troops killed and 1,767 others wounded.
Martial law, however, remains in effect over Mindanao.
“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,” the resolution stated.
It said the supreme sacrifice of the soldiers and police officers should not be forgotten and deserve the highest commendation.
“Resolved by the Senate, as it is hereby resolved, that the Senate of the Philippines recognize and honor the gallantry, bravery, sacrifice, and heroism of the men and women in uniform under Joint Task Force (JTF) Marawi, especially those killed or wounded, designating them “Heroes of Marawi,” it stated. — Amita Legaspi/RSJ, GMA News