Ditsaan Ramain, Lanao del Sur, July 6, 2018 – Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, Commanding General of the Philippine Army was conferred the title “Adopted Son of Shakba Ko Lawasaig” in traditional ceremonies held in Ditsaan Ramain, Lanao Del Sur on July 6, 2018.
“Shakba Ko Lawasaig” is the traditional seat of power of the ancient royal clans of Maranaos in Lanao del Sur headquartered in the municipality of Ditsaan Ramain a few kilometers south of Marawi City. Lt. Gen. Bautista is the first and only military officer conferred with the title, giving him the honor and privileges for the royal blood Maranao clans in Lanao Del Sur.
“We, Maranaos, are well-known for our strong sense of gratitude, one that is manifested in all forms like thanksgiving, gift-giving and even compliments courtesy of tarpaulins and streamers. And we are gathering for exactly the same reason. Today’s ceremony is a great occasion to give ourselves some sense of debt we owe to one brave person and his troops who took a huge step in defending our land during the Marawi siege. Today is a day to show appreciation to this valiant soul and to strengthen the friendship that is already of great value,” Lanao Del Sur Governor Bedjoria Soraya Alonto-Adiong said.
“My heartfelt appreciation for their dedication and commitment goes to those who serve to serve our land and our people. They have earned my respect and profound admiration. Lt. Gen. Bautista takes his rightful place in our hearts because his actions exemplify the finest qualities like that of a fierce Maranao fighter, steadfast, devotion to duty, tenacity in a fight, and love and respect for each other,” Gov. Alonto-Adiong said.
“Lt. Gen. Bautista’s dedication to duty regardless of personal safety embodies the very best traditions of the Maranao people. In return, he and his men inspired our hearts a deep sense of pride and patriotism. The deeds of Lt. Gen. Bautista and troops as ordinary men who performed extra-ordinary duties are profoundly moving. His heroism has earned him the conferment of the title ‘Adopted Son of Shakba Ko Lawasaig.’ May the devotion and gallantry of Lt. Gen. Bautista inspire the heroes in us and remind us of our obligation to defend the heritage of culture and move us to do the same sacrifices,” Gov. Alonto-Adiong said.
“Lt. Gen. Bautista led the Liberation of Marawi from the invading Daesh-inspired-Maute terrorists, thereby also earning him the position of Commander of the Joint task Force Marawi. The focused military operation in Marawi is one of the most successful military campaigns in the history of AFP. The campaign which lasted for five months, resulted to the neutralization of all terrorist leaders inside the main battle area to include the most wanted terrorist leader in the country, Isnilon Hapilon and all the Maute brothers; the recovery of about 900 high powered firearms and the rescue of all hostages,” ARMM Assemblyman Zia Alonto-Adiong said.
“The Liberation of Marawi City, which Lt. Gen. Bautista orchestrated, symbolizes victory, brotherhood, courage, unity and collective leadership, that earned the Filipino people’s tribute, respect and appreciation for all the soldiers and police who fought for the liberation of the only Islamic City in the Philippines” Assemblyman Alongto-Adiong said.
For his part, Lt. Gen. Bautista said in his message: “I will do my best to perform the roles and duties that should carried out by an Adopted Son of Maranao Sultanate. I am honored with love you have showered on me despite the vey short time that I have served you. You have recognize me as a member of your family even we have differing culture and belief. I know that this title is very important. It means that you are opening your doors to accept and embrace me. The success of the Liberation of Marawi should not only be attributed to the uniformed personnel, it should be also attributed to all Maranaos who served as our inspiration and motivation to end the crisis.”
As the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, all the soldiers under my command are also honored with this title and all of them now become adopted sons and daughters of the Maranao people. We are always prepared to serve you and secure our land and we are determined to give all our best because for us, you are also part of our family,” Lt. Gen. Bautista said.