Marawi City, with its cool weather, is called the summer capital of the south. Rich in history, culture, natural resources, scenic landscapes, flourishing businesses, and trade. Its vibrancy would never make one suspect that it would be the cause of division and defiant activities leading to a massive tragedy.
The Marawi Crisis posed great challenges. Wide gaps and significant lessons learned were translated into innovations that were put into action from when the first gunfire was heard, which signaled the beginning of the siege until the forces’ triumphant exodus on the 23rd of October 2017.
Lessons and improvements during our operations became our source of insights to better our military capabilities. The creation of the Operations Research Center of the Philippine Army (ORCPA) on the 30th of October 2017 was not only a response to the call of the times, but most importantly, it provided an opportunity to document the valuable experiences of the Philippine Army in the conduct of our operations in the City of Marawi. The office was mandated to conduct research, synchronize, and integrate all the research efforts coming from the different branches of the army units and to serve as a catalyst for developing the army’s capabilities to enhance its organizational adaptability, survivability of its soldiers, and combat effectiveness. By ensuring the continuity of research, we can integrate the byproducts of the said research into doable and applicable doctrines and policy recommendations.
The capabilities and competencies of the Army were tested during the Marawi crisis. It is important to document not only our accomplishments on the battlefield but also the lessons learned from them so that they may be used to improve and revise our existing doctrines, organization, policies, and training. Helpful information for LGUs, policymakers, and other members of the security sector should be shared with them to enable them to deal with the threats to national security and to deter terrorism.
The book Marawi and Beyond: The Joint Task Force Marawi Story speaks of the innovations, sacrifice, heroism, and unyielding spirit of our troops as they fought to liberate Marawi City. Our triumph was due to the overwhelming support of the local community, people from all sectors of society, and Filipinos here and abroad. Marawi and Beyond: The Joint Task Force Marawi Story is a testament to the Philippine Army’s dedication to fulfilling our primary duty of serving the people and securing the land.
LT COL JO-AR A HERRERA (INF) PA
Director, Operations Research Center, PA
Former Spokesperson/AC of S for CMO (G7), Joint Task Force Marawi/1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army