“It is imperative to document our trials, failures, lessons learned, and the success of the Philippine Army in the Battle of Marawi, which led to the eventual neutralization of the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group in order to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.” — Lt Gen Rolly Bautista
It was the refusal of the terrorists to release their hostages and to surrender, despite the numerous pleas and attempts made to convince them to do so, which forced the hand of the government to engage them in the fierce Battle of Marawi, which eventually caused the destruction of this historic city.
The series of publications that was undertaken by the Office of the Operations Research Center of the Philippine Army (ORCPA), starting with this book, Marawi and Beyond: The Joint Task Force Marawi Story, documents the various aspects of the Battle of Marawi from that fateful morning of the 23rd of May 2017 when Army troopers raided the safehouse of Isnilon Hapilon in Bgy Basak, Malutlot, Marawi City until the start of the rehabilitation efforts of the administration of President Duterte.
After collating and going through all the available materials from the entire JTF Marawi, the ORCPA felt compelled to release a no-holds-barred narration of the liberation of Marawi in two versions: one for members of the general public and another that is strictly intended for the use of the Philippine Army.
JTF Marawi’s operational concepts, doctrines, TTPs, protocols, guidelines, and other important data are presented in an exclusive series of handbooks for the Philippine Army’s internal use. These 21 volumes of handbooks bring to light the numerous challenges that the members of the JTF Marawi faced. For the general public, a series of 7 handbooks will be released. Their trials, experiences, interventions, innovations, lessons learned, leadership, as well as the other facets of the operations throughout the grueling five-month-long battle are presented. We in the Philippine Army fought hard and gave our best.
The Philippine Army believes that by coming out with a series of handbooks intended for our internal and external use, a lot can be learned from it, especially since it is a firsthand documentation and a tell-all narration. This book, together with the series of 21 handbooks written exclusively for the Philippine Army’s internal use and 7 handbooks for the general public, will allow our peers to view what we did objectively, give us their opinions, and enlighten us on our shortcomings so that together we can better serve our people. It will also allow historians and Filipinos to know about what actually went on during those darkest days of Marawi City’s captivity.
While we leave it to the next generation to judge the significance of the liberation of Marawi, we, your soldiers of the Philippine Army, shall continue to live up to our motto: serving the people and protecting the land.
(This entry is part of Chapter 7: Conclusion.)