Army Launches Joint Task Force Marawi Handbooks, Highlights Achievements in Crisis

Written by Marlon C. Magtira, posted on March 19, 2018

Fort Andres Bonifacio, Taguig City – The Philippine Army announced the production of the Joint Task Force Marawi Handbook Series, highlighting its experiences and achievements during the crisis in a launching event spearheaded by the Philippine Army’s Operations Research Center.

“As we commemorate the unfortunate memories of the crisis and remember the destruction caused by the enemy, we also keep in our hearts and minds the lessons learned in the military operations throughout the five-month-long battle,” said Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito D. Bautista, Commanding General, Philippine Army.

Lt. Gen. Bautista was the Commander of the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division and Joint Task Force Marawi during the Marawi crisis, where government troops engaged the ISIS-Maute terrorist group in the fiercest military combat operations in recent Philippine History. 165 soldiers and policemen died, and over a thousand were wounded in the main battle area.

“As we engaged the enemy during the crisis in lethal operations and, at the same time, the affected communities in non-combat operations, we were able to strategically and efficiently combine hard power and soft power approaches. At the same time, it projected a positive image of the Philippine Army. These are exemplified in the Joint Task Force Marawi handbooks. Digital media, including social media, played a very significant role in our innovative ventures in the virtual battlefield in the online world toward translating tactical gains in the main battle area into strategic victories from the eyes of affected communities and the Filipino nation,” Lt. Gen. Bautista said.

Guest of Honor and Speaker Sec. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Special Assistant to the President, said: “I’m extending the nation’s gratitude to our soldiers and policemen who fought bravely and honorably during the battle of Marawi. Although winning the battle cost us numerous lives, their deeds during the five-month-long crisis have allowed us to liberate not only the city but the entire country from the clutches of violence and terror. These books will not only immortalize the exploits of our men and women in uniform but will also serve as a reminder for future generations about the sacrifices they offered in retaking the City of Maraw.”

Dr. Isabel Cojuangco-Suntay, co-founder of Tarlac Heritage Foundation, who has been offering full support in the production of the handbooks, led the ceremonial turnover of the handbooks to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, represented by Sec. Go.

The book series covers Joint Task Force Marawi combat and non-combat operations and is a compendium of stories immortalized in a series of books. “It is an enduring documentation of actual experiences and achievements on the ground during the crisis. To keep an intended tone of book presentation, the books were designed for specific internal and external audiences,” Lt. Col. Jo-Ar Herrera, Director of Operations Research Center, Philippine Army.

These books, “which have determined the gaps, capabilities, and lesson learned for future reference and inspiration, are aimed at driving capabilities toward a better Philippine Army,” Lt. Gen. Bautista said.

“While your army has been battle-tested since time immemorial, we are always wide open to embrace new challenges for new opportunities for new development. This is the very essence of the Operations Research Center, Philippine Army. One of our important tasks is to accurately document these encountered challenges in Marawi and provide insights and analysis as reliable sources for future references,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.

“As we experienced challenges in the battle of Marawi, we saw opportunities to improve. These challenges and opportunities should be eternally archived by keeping its information and data in print and online. The Operations Research Center, Philippine Army painstakingly worked on the documentations and all its encompassing realizations that transpired during the crisis,” Lt. Col. Herrera said.