Book 5: Breaking Extremist Narratives

This book defines the concepts of extremism, radicalization, and terrorism in light of our exposure on the ground during the Marawi crisis. Entitled “Breaking Extremist Narratives,” this book implies our thrust in various CVE initiatives to address violent extremism. We exhort historical perspectives of extremist structures and systems that shaped the narratives espoused by the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group. Our social and traditional media campaigns and community and stakeholder engagements conducted during the crisis are illustrated to draw insights and lessons on how we dealt with extremist ideologies and radical ideas, thereby enhancing our overall CVE agenda.

Detailing our experiences and achievements in Marawi City, this book makes an important and timely documentation of the growing issues and concerns on the subject of preventing and countering violent extremism (P-CVE). The content is primarily intended for individuals and organizations who are interested in the dynamics, mechanisms, and the underlying factors of violent extremism. Our various CMO initiatives in countering violent extremism (CVE) during the Marawi crisis highlighted in this book provide guidance and inspiration to peace loving Filipinos who desire to take part in the shared responsibility in the pursuit of peace and security.


This book defines the concepts of extremism, radicalization, and terrorism in light of our exposures on the ground during the Marawi crisis. Entitled as “Breaking Extremist Narratives,” this book implies our thrust in various CVE initiatives to address violent extremism. We exhort historical perspectives of extremist structures and systems that shaped the narratives espoused by the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group. Our social and traditional media campaigns, and community and stakeholder engagements conducted during the crisis are illustrated to draw insights and lessons on how we dealt with extremist ideologies and radical ideas, thereby enhancing our overall CVE agenda.

Chapter 1: Violent Extremism and Radicalism defines radicalism and extremism and how these concepts are manifested during the Marawi crisis.

Chapter 2: Drivers of Violent Extremism enumerates the factors and underlying conditions that attract and influence ‘at risk’ individuals to join extreme paths.

Chapter 3: Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Campaign describes our initiatives to raise awareness and deepen the understanding of our troops on violent extremism.

Chapter 4: Civil-Military Operations Best Practices describes CMO activities targeting a range of various sectors, from community leaders to the youth sector, which fostered closer cooperation and showed our commitment to preventing and countering violent extremism.

Chapter 5: Lessons Learned assesses insights acquired in our initiatives in preventing and countering violent extremism

A Note on Terminology

The language that peacebuilders use matters a great deal in framing issues in a way that can emphasize commonalities and bring people together. Equally, language can offend and divide people, either by accident or design.

The language around “violent extremism” remains a struggle and the disinclination in employing the frame of “countering violent extremism” ensues. But for the purposes of this book, “countering violent extremism” or “CVE” is used as shorthand for programs and activities that build peace and promote national security in the face of terrorism. Different partner organizations have used a range of terms and language, and their original words were kept when appropriate.

Foreword: Countering Radicalization During the Crisis

“The enemy tried to deliberately recruit the youth to join their ranks however, we were quick to take the initiatives in countering violent extremism and offered the youth a proactive role in shaping their furture via the youth leadership summit.” — Lt Gen Rolly Bautista

The Marawi crisis saw the fiercest military operations in recent Philippine history where we engaged the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group. Young people who were radicalized a few years back formed the frontlines of the enemy.

As the firefights occured in the main battle area (MBA), the enemy took deliberate steps to influence more young people to join their ranks. But the Philippine Army was quick to take initiatives in countering violent extremism.

This book is an enduring documentation of the effective strategy of Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division and Joint Task Force Marawi’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs during the crisis. Our programs were focused on the countering and preventing the occurrence of violence and spread of terrorism and radicalism.

Our CVE insights and assessment in this book provide a comprehensive illustration of what we experienced and accomplished in Marawi City. We hope that this handbook will enlighten Filipinos who aspire to become part of our shared responsibility towards peaceful communities.

Commanding General, Philippine Army
Former Commander, Joint Task Force Marawi/
1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, Philippine Army

Introduction: The Youth and the Crisis

“During the Marawi crisis we uncovered alarming facts on the radicalization and exploitation of the youth by terrorist and as such it was emperative to pursue an analysis of the causes and drivers of violent extremism.” — Lt Col Jo-ar Herrera

Young people, especially those in the areas of Mindanao exposed to conflicts and perceived injustices, were among the most vulnerable to the influence of these extremists. A video we recovered from a Maute training camp in Butig, Lanao del Sur showed children and teenage combatants training with adult recruits. These children called “cubs of the caliphate” were taught how to use assault rifles and other weapons. They were forced to watch ISIS execution videos to familiarize them with beheadings and slaughters and they were given lessons in violent extremist ideology.

The enemy was, in no uncertain terms, a terrorist group dubbed as the “ISISMaute Terrorist Group.” It was formed in an alliance between the brothers Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute, criminals from a political family in Butig, Lanao del Sur, and the forces of Isnilon Hapilon, a man wanted for leading the kidnap-for-ransom group, Abu Sayyaf. Both groups, in the throes of utter defeat, aligned themselves with the violent and extreme ideologies of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). ISIS itself is a dying terrorist group in West Asia who saw an opportunity to get a foothold in Southeast Asia. This ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group was intent on evading lawful punishment for their criminal activities and on establishing their own state—they called “wilayat”—for a social order devoid of freedom and human rights our nation has fought for and strives to maintain.

With the alarming fact that children were used as combatants during the Marawi crisis, it is crucial to pursue an analysis on the causes and drivers of conflict to ensure that planning and implementation of initiatives to counter violent extremism (CVE) and terrorism will be effective.

The factors we identified as deeper causes of violent extremism are:
• Poverty (both as a structural and proximate factor)
• Historical injustice
• Ideology including the deliberate misinterpretation of Islam to suit a specific agenda
• The vulnerability of the youth

Other triggers were recruitment activities and agitation by violent extremist groups through the use of social media to propagate fake news and disinformation.

Violent extremism revolves around the concepts of extremism, radicalization, and terrorism. We defined these concepts based on our observations on the ground during the Marawi crisis. In this book, we delve into the minds of extremist groups and their influencers. We also explain the push and pull factors that drive the vulnerable youth to join the extremists.

In this regard, we take a closer look into the role of our Civil-Military Operations (CMO) on the ground to counter the narratives of violent extremism through a combination of physical and psychological engagements with stakeholders and affected communities. Such engagements included: humanitarian missions, educational tours, leadership empowerment, public information campaigns, dialogues and forums, and peacebuilding activities. In these undertakings, we showcased our best practices in facing the challenges in implementing our CVE initiatives.

As the concept of CVE evolves, we, in the Philippine Army, continuously collaborate and engage various sectors in our society including CVE practioners, researchers, and institutions to streamline the prevention of extremism and radicalization. This book is a result of our passion and dedication to promote knowledge and values to prevent and counter violent extremism in our country.

Director, Operations Research Center, PA
Former Spokesperson/AC of S for CMO (G7),
Joint Task Force Marawi/1st Infantry (Tabak)
Division, Philippine Army

Chapter 1: Violent Extremism and Radicalism

“During the Marawi crisis, we defeated the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group through our partnership and collaboration with government entities, stakeholders, and the affected communities. However, extremist ideology still lurks and is potent enough to radicalize our youth and children. We all should get involved and do our part to prevent its spread.” — Lt Col Jo-ar Herrera

Although widely used in various discourses, there is still no accepted or standard definition of violent extremism. The term “extreme,” which generally refers to deviations from the norm, literally means “belief in and support for ideas that are very far from what most people consider correct or reasonable” (Merriam-Webster, 2017).

According to German journalist Peter R. Neumann, an expert on terrorism and political violence, drawing in part from The Palgrave Macmillan Dictionary of Political Thought: “Extremism can be used to refer to political ideologies that oppose a society’s core values and principles. In the context of liberal democracies this could be applied to any ideology that advocates racial or religious supremacy and/or opposes the core principles of democracy and universal human rights. The term can also be used to describe the methods through which political actors attempt to realize their aims, that is, by using means that ‘show disregard for the life, liberty, and human rights of others.’”

In the Philippines, there are two primary varieties of violent radicalism: Communist radicalism and Religious radicalism. The former is spearheaded by groups that seek the violent overthrow of the democratic system of the Philippines. The latter is the predominant variety of radicalism that revolves around the Muslim people of Mindanao. This is subdivided into two main strands:

  • A mainstream, ethno-nationalist strand whose adherents seek to form an independent state
  • A deviant ideological strand that aims for a transnational Islamic caliphate that is governed by a literal and extreme interpretation of the Quran and strict adherence to Sharia law Along these lines of thought, extremism and radicalism are aligned with terrorism. Despite the lack of an academic consensus and a universally-accepted definition, terrorism is the presumed end product of extremism and radicalism. (The Army Journal, 2017) According to Republic Act No. 9372, “An Act to Secure the State and Protect our People from Terrorism”, terrorism is an act punishable under the provisions of the Revised Penal Code that sows and creates a condition of widespread and extraordinary fear and panic among the populace, in order to coerce the government to give in to an unlawful demand.

Professor Amparo Fabe, a Filipino economist and sociologist, said that the purpose of terrorism was to create psychological insecurity in society and distrust in the government’s ability to protect its citizens. In light of the Marawi crisis, it was evident how the ISISMaute Terrorist Group sowed fear and terror by undertaking acts of sabotage, assassination, kidnapping, and killing of innocent civilians to establish an islamic state-“wilayat” in the only islamic city of our country

We declared victory over the terrorists after a decisive five-month long battle in Marawi City. However, a physical victory did not diminish the underlying ideology behind the violent behavior of the enemy. We shall continue to address the battle of narratives and ideas to further our gains and thrusts against terrorism.

“No one in the Philippines should ignore the fact that the ideology that supports violent extremism may be here to stay,” said Sidney Jones, director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

According to Kat Tolosa, Executive Director of the Security Reforms Initiatives, violent extremism is not a new phenomenon in the Philippines. She said the Philippine military’s victory in Marawi City was a testament that it had long been working on addressing security threats from a mostly military or punitive approach. However, defeating the terrorists in Marawi City was not a complete victory. While some argued that the actions of the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group were motivated by money and power, the radical religious extremism supporting ISIS was clearly the core of their ideology.

With the extent of radicalization we observed, the Marawi crisis was the most serious attempt to export violent extremism and radicalism in the Philippines and in the region and had created the need to counter the spread of radical ideas and the radicalization process by quickly and decisively addressing its root causes before it was too late.

Violent Extremist Groups

Since the turn of the century, reports indicated that terror attacks began increasing in Asia. In 2016, South and Southeast Asia accounted for 33% of the terror attacks and 25% of fatalities globally. The ISIS Bangladesh, the Maute Group in the Philippines, and the Islamic State of Khorasan Province in Pakistan and Afghanistan were among the most notorious ISIS affiliated groups in the world. In the Philippines, in terms of terrorist activities, the country ranked 12th in the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).

The emergence of the Maute Group and other ISIS-affiliated extremist groups, persistent kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf, attacks on government forces, and bombings, indicated that terrorism in the Philippines is a serious problem. The Philippine government recognized the threat posed by these extremists and ISIS supporters.

The following details the extremists groups’ ideology and actions that highly influenced local terrorists groups (LTGs) in the Philippines, eventually leading to the Marawi crisis.


The roots of Al-Qaeda extremist groups could be traced back in 1988. It was the year when Osama bin Laden along with Abdullah Azzam formed the group AlQaeda with the intent to eradicate Western militaries in the face of the earth.

Their ideology marks a strong willingness to carry out armed struggle against those who they think will prevent them from establishing an Islamic state.

They twist the teachings of Islam to influence Muslim masses and incite violent movements worldwide to attack those who they view as enemies. Al-Qaeda stated their aim of leading an army of supporters rising up to annihilate external forces from their controlled territories.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Established in 2014 as its name suggests, this terrorist organization was based in Iraq and Syria. Also known as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant), the group originally emerged as an offshoot of Al-Qaeda with the ambition to govern the Levant region, including Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Al-Qaeda, however, later broke ties with ISIS, because of their aggressive attacks against civilian Muslims who did not align with their religious beliefs.

ISIS differed significantly from Al- Qaeda in its approach to violence, on how it chose to capitalize on anti-Western sentiment, and in its ultimate aim as a terrorist organization. Whereas Al-Qaeda’s primary enemy had always been American and European militaries, ISIS had targets much closer to home, such as Bashar Assad’s government in Syria and Haider al-Abadi’s in Iraq; and other unsupportive governments in West Asia.

Their ultimate aim was to establish an Islamic state or a Caliphate governed by strict implementation of Sharia Law according to their interpretation.

In June 2014, ISIS declared a caliphate in Mosul, Iraq, encompassing areas in their control and others they planned to besiege. They conducted numerous high profile attacks, including improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against US military personnel, and the destruction of Iraqi infrastructure. They videotaped beheadings of US citizens, suicide bombings against both military and civilian targets, and rocket attacks. By 2016, ISIS became the most murderous terrorist group responsible for 9,132 deaths worldwide.

Pledging allegiance to ISIS

It did not take long before the visceral bloodlust of ISIS gained global attention, surpassing that of Al-Qaeda’s. Explicit videos of ISIS violent acts such as beheading and burning of hostages, shooting and mutilating their victims, and dropping people from buildings spread through social media networks, which made the rounds of international news programs. This encouraged numerous extremist groups in the Philippines to pledge allegiance to ISIS. These groups included: Dawlah Islamiyah fi Basilan led by Hapilon; Dawlah Islamiyah fi Lanao led by Abdullah Maute; Ansar Khalifah Philippines (AKP) led by Abu Sabiwang; Dawlah Islamiyah fi Maguindanao led by Esmael Abdulmalik; Dawlah Islamiyah fi Sulo led by Abu Amar; and Ansarud Dawlatil Islam fi Luzon, which is still under watch status. ISIS subsequently called on its supporters in Southeast Asia to join and attack targets in the Philippines. The LTGs apparently recognized ASG’s Isnilon Hapilon as the ‘emir’ or regional leader.

Abu Sayyaf Group

The ASG was the most notorious terrorist group in the Philippines since its creation in the 1990s. The group formed as a break-away from the MILF and started as an Islamic propagation group organized by Ustad Abdurajak Janjalani. After numerous kidnappings of foreigners, US authorities designated the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in 1997.

The ASG committed kidnap-for-ransom activities and extortion to fund its operations. Their criminal activities included: bombings, ambushes of security forces, beheadings in public areas, and assassinations. In a July 2014 video, Hapilon pledged allegiance to ISIS. Other ASG factions and supportive groups followed suit.

With about 400 members in 2012, ASG operated all over the Sulu Archipelago — Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi provinces—and the Zamboanga Peninsula. The group also conducted cross-border operations into eastern Malaysia.

Aside from its criminal activities, it also received funding from external sources, including remittances from supporters abroad. The group also received support from regional terrorist groups including Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The JI provided training for ASG members and facilitated the groups’ terrorist activities.

The Maute Group

Hapilon and the Maute brothers of Butig, Lanao del Sur joined forces to strenghten their terrorist networks in the country. Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute were the leaders of the “Maute Group” who called themselves Dawla Islamiyah Lanao (DIL). The brothers’ radicalization was reinforced abroad during their college education. Omarkhayam studied in Egypt while Abdullah studied in Jordan.

According to the Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, the brothers “went from petty small-time criminals to full-pledged militant activity when they created Khalifa Islamiah Mindanao in 2012.” In an October 2016 report, a Jakarta-based thinktank warned of “cross-border extremist operations” after tracing direct links between four Philippine terror groups—among them was the Maute group—and pro-ISIS fighters in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia. In 2016, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte confirmed the Maute group’s links with ISIS, saying the intelligence community had advised him that ISIS “has vitally connected to the group in the Philippines called the Maute.”

Omarkhayam was believed to be the brains behind the group while Abdullah served as the commander of its operations. This LTG carried out several bombings and kidnappings, and was active in the months leading up to the Marawi crisis. Like the ASG, they also pledged allegiance to ISIS and carried ISIS flags and insignia.

In the early part of 2016, the group briefly established three strongholds in Lanao del Sur and displaced about 30,000 people. They attacked government installations and communities. But the military quashed them immediately.

This LTG posted gory photos on Facebook of their beheading two sawmill workers they kidnapped in Butig, LDN. The victims were killed, because they were accused of being military informants. The beheaded workers were wearing orange jumpsuits similar to the style of ISIS public executions.

In October 2016, members of the Maute group were arrested for allegedly carrying out the September bombing of a night market in Davao City, the President’s hometown. The following month, the group occupied the Butig Municipal Hall and raised the ISIS flag. Government troops were able to regain control of the area after a few days.

Dismantling Violent Extremist Groups

In most counter-terrorism operations in the Philippines, efforts were high-valuetarget (HVT) driven—that is, they were efforts focused on capturing terrorist leaders. The most recent HVT-focus efforts were the operations at the latter part of the Marawi crisis, which led to the deaths of Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute. In retrospect, the deaths of the group’s key leaders could be regarded as a big setback to the organization, which may eventually lead to their downfall.

However, the adversary was not the group, nor its individual leaders. The true enemy was the ideology, which could not be defeated by guns and bullets.

To effectively dismantle the terrorist groups, it was imperative to continue addressing other factors that drive terrorism such as their grievances and extremist ideology, and to have a prudent and nuanced understanding of these armed groups and the threats they pose to national security.

Chapter 2: Drivers of Violent Extremism

“The major hindrances toward achieving peace are the gaps between our faith, our cultures, economic and social status, and even power and politics. These resulted in a polarized or divided society which is readily exploited by terrorist organizations, highlighting religious narratives for their own purposes.” — Lt Gen Rolly Bautista

Factors that drive violent extremism and terrorism work from two points. In addition to the social frustrations such as poverty, feelings of discrimination and alienation, experiences of unfairness and injustice, which push individuals toward a violent path, there must be influences that are pulling them in.

The Asia Foundation, an international development non-profit organization, described these “push and pull factors” as “ between underlying conditions conducive to violent extremism (push factors) and proximate triggers to participation or direct support for violence (pull factors). Push factors are structural or societal and often include socio-economic marginalization, poor governance (especially in areas experiencing protracted conflict), corruption, and human rights abuses. Pull factors are specific to individuals and have a bearing on recruitment and/or radicalization, such as the search for identity and the desire to belong.”

The ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group exploited several push factors to gain influence and pull in young recruits. Mainly, they used the growing weariness of young Muslims over the perceived continued failure of the government to successfully bring about the peace agreements, and finally bring about peace. There were many of these young Muslims in Butig, Marawi City, and other places in Mindanao. Mounting frustration with the government made them susceptible to radicalization into the ISIS extremist ideology.

The group’s center of gravity was nurtured by their narrative—a pull factor for their recruitment and communication strategy.

The ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group repeatedly implied in social media their ISIS motivated narrative which highlighted their interpretation of the “correct” way of practicing Islam and that all others were mere unacceptable innovations. The group further repeated international ISIS claims that Islam was under attack all over the world, that Muslims would always be deceived by non-Muslims, and that the caliphate was the only answer to the problems of Muslims. They had adapted this narrative locally to further claim that the peace process was a deception, and that the MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were traitors.

Once a link had been established between this narrative and an individual’s worldview, bonds began to form and alienation was replaced by a sense of kinship provided by fellow extremists. Ideology, at the same time, often played an important role in that it could provide true believers with a license to kill. Additionally, the group’s constant vilification of their enemies gave members justification for their violent actions: they were only avenging the wrongs committed against their people and protecting themselves from the “evildoers”, a label that they could apply to the government, other ethnic and religious groups, and even individuals.

Young recruits were taught that violent struggle against non-believers was a straight path to heaven. According to Prof. Julkipli Wadi, Dean of the University of the Philippines Institute of Islamic Studies, recruits were told that joining their ranks for jihad was both for God and the Bangsamoro (Moro nation). The terrorist group also exploited the desire for social justice of their recruits by saying martyrs for the jihad would receive great sexual gratification in heaven. The government’s faults in armed conflicts were also used as recruitment propaganda.

Recruitment Methods

During the Marawi crisis, recruitment of combatants for the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group operated on social media networks. Modern ways of communicating offered terrorist groups greater strategic and operational freedom. Whereas Al-Qaeda mastered satellite television and cable news, ISIS has mastered social media networks and the ubiquity of smartphones, mobile phones that can connect to the Internet, with mobile apps that provide access to these social networks. ISIS was already building up its new “cyber caliphate” and cyber army focused on collecting intelligence, coordinating global operations, and unleashing cyber jihad. Through group chats in secure messaging apps on smartphones, ISIS recruits in the Philippines were creating an international constituency, with their reports from the field translated instantly into English, Filipino, Arabic, Turkish, German, and Indonesian.

The ability of ISIS to access the free and open Internet and their presence on the varied digital media operating on this communication infrastructure effectively introduced and radicalized vulnerable youth into violent extremism. The group used these digital media to spread extremist ideology and propaganda faster and wider than traditional media. Radicalized individuals, whose ideas, and ego mostly lived only on the Internet, were encouraged to become real terrorists in the physical world.

However, in Butig, where there had been minimal access to the Internet, recruitment into the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group was a face-to-face engagement. It was also in Butig where the group trained recruits for combat and attack, and this included children, as young as four years old. The group would get custody of children in the guise of giving them formal religious studies; mostly orphans of Moro combatants and youngsters traumatized by warfare and perceived social injustice.

Madrasahs, places for formal elementary and secondary Islamic and Arabic studies, were also an entry point for recruitment. The Maute Terrorist Group provided financial support to some madrasahs with the ulterior motive of inculcating extremist principles and ideas deviating from Islam. The propagation of these extremist madrasahs and indoctrination through social media and face-to-face engagements exposed the vulnerable youth to radical distortions of Islam.

Chapter 3: P-CVE Campaign

“We have programs to counter various violent ideologies. We have developed quite a good competency against those of the New People’s Army [NPA], but it is only now that we have focused on those related to radicalism and violent extremism.” — BGen Restituto Padilla

It was integral to develop practices designed to prevent conflict and counter violent extremist views with a more localized, inclusive and sustainable approach. A practical, effective, and proportionate response should start from a sound understanding of the root causes of the problem.

With this in mind, our Army took the initiative to raise the awareness of officers and non-commissioned officers assigned in the field units and elevate their understanding of violent extremism in the Philippines through the implementation of the Philippine Army’s Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P-CVE) advocacy campaign in 2017.

The campaign also aimed to share with army personnel knowledge of terrorism trends in the Philippines and give them the capacity to create and facilitate P-CVE programs. It was organized and given details by a team from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) with a team from the Headquarters of the Philippine Army (HPA) through a series of lectures and activities. With the knowledge of P-CVE imparted to every soldier, most especially to Army commanders, units were able to conceptualize and implement programs that were effective in their areas of responsibility. Likewise, personnel of combat units were enlightened on the dynamics of violent extremism, so they could be vigilant against it and be armed with knowledge about preventing the spread of violent extremist ideologies.

Civil-Military Operations Coordinating Center (CMOCC)

Immediatly after the outbreak of hostilities in Marawi City, our Army established the CMOCC. The JTF Marawi CMOCC’s role was an integral part of the overall battle plan for the liberation of the city. Part of its mission was to establish the military’s superiority in the information landscape over the narratives and propaganda of the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group.

The CMOCC served as the platform where the various civilian stakeholders, including civil society organizations (CSO), media, concerned individuals, and government agencies, were able to engage the military in continuing dialogues, information inquiries, and emergency activity coordination. The CMOCC provided the much-needed space to hear civilian concerns, thereby mitigating factors that promoted violent extremism.

The CMOCC, in partnership with the Lanao del Sur provincial government, established the Provincial Crisis Management Center (PCMC) to provide LGUs with mechanisms and a decision-making body to respond to the crisis and complement our efforts to help and support the affected communities. With the implementation of Martial Law, the PCMC was instrumental for the community’s appreciation of the military’s respect for civilian authority. Headed by the ViceGovernor of Lanao del Sur, the PCMC embodied the civilian government’s presence and authority in the area despite Martial Law.

CMOCC’s operations were later taken over by Joint Task Group (JTG) Ranao and JTG Tabang, which were tasked to engage affected communities and stakeholders and provide direct support to the PCMC. JTG Ranao managed the controlled areas, while JTG Tabang provided and supported various humanitarian responses to the crisis.

The Media Terrain

While the subsequent military operations to liberate Marawi City were marked by direct military operations, the Army’s CMO was active in the media terrain. Part of the JTF Marawi’s initiatives to discredit the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group and counter violent extremism included collaborations with traditional and non-traditional media. Social media, press conferences, radio broadcasts, media campaigns, and production of online articles and videos were utilized to convey our narratives against extremism.

Social Media Operations

When the crisis erupted on the 23rd of May 2017, the 1ID, PA was incidentally conducting a training series for digital capability of selected personnel in the division.

Included in the training was a course on digital media production and social media management. The participants of the said training were immediately deployed to operate the social media campaigns of JTF Marawi. The soldiers’ newly aquired knowledge and skills on social media management were put to test. They were able to practice what they had learned in class and ran a campaign considered as one of the most successful activities during the crisis.

Metrics monitoring showed that their campaign reached more than 100 million social media users. Because of this, the troops in Marawi City received overwhelming support from the public, including a surplus of donations such as: food, slippers, and hygiene kits, which were handed down to evacuees.

Radio Broadcasts

Since access to television and the Internet was rare in evacuation centers and in most areas in the periphery of Marawi City, radio was the dominant medium to deliver counter narrative messages. Radio served as the primary information, education, and communication tool for the Army to reach diverse audiences in the province.

Radio programs, which were handled by JTG Tabang, included “Suwara Ko Kalilintad” (Voice of Peace) aired over 94.1 U-Radio (University Radio) FM in Mindanao Sate University and “Sambatan Ko Kalilintad” over 94.5 Cool FM in Iligan City with Major Jeffrex “Ka Jepoy” Molina and Captain Janaloden “Ka Jan” Sanggacala as the main anchors. Keeping the people informed and making them aware of crisis situations and the nature of the unfriendly forces through these radio programs abated misconceptions about and distrust of the Army.

Resolving Issues

These public information campaigns also served as means to monitor and address issues that arose and to prevent these issues from contributing further to factors that drive violent extremism. As the CMOCC worked closely with the PCMC to quickly resolve such issues, the social media team monitored the information environment 24/7 to trace disinformation from the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group and their supporters.

Issues raised online were addressed and resolved immediately. For instance, investigations and resolutions were immediately conducted on the alleged cases committed by the ground forces such as looting and human rights violations (HRV). Urgently addressing grievances through public information mitigated the chances of more people falling for terrorist propaganda. Likewise, such strategy brought concerned agencies and stakeholders together to perform several interventions to discredit the narratives of violent extremism.

To further ensure the delivery of timely, accurate, and relevant information, JTF Marawi increased transparency efforts internally and externally to establish critical mass, garner external support, and to show that the AFP did not tolerate any acts violating the organization’s policy and guidelines, human rights, and the rule of law.

Chapter 4: CMO Best Practices

“We accomplished much in our objectives to bring peace and stability to Mindanao. We intend to accomplish more in the days to come and make peace in this region a reality. We shall continue to work hand in hand with the people that we serve in order to defeat terrorism.” — Lt Col Jo-ar Herrera

Various CVE approaches fostered closer cooperation and exchanges between the JTF Marawi and stakeholders in conflict management and prevention. Targeting the different sectors such as the youth, religious, women, and children in their immediate environment showed the Army’s commitment to actively engaging the local community in light of contemporary threats and possible evolving trends of extremism, radicalism, and terrorism.

Community Leaders and the Religious Sector

To demonstrate their solidarity and strong commitment to end violent extremism and to avoid the same crisis in the future, various community leaders in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur province declared support for the government’s initiatives in sustaining efforts to rehabilitate the war-torn city and counter radicalization among the youth.

The provincial government, including mayors of Lanao del Sur, confederation of sultanates, council of imams and ulamas, and academe, business and professional services sector immediately convened on the 17th of October 2017 at the Provincial Capitol immediately after President Duterte’s announcement of the liberation of Marawi City.

Women and Children

Tabak Educational Tour

With anecdotes of frustration and anger felt by the IDPs in evacuation centers wherein children expressed support for the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group, the Army further intensified its efforts to appropriately respond to these. With the theme, “Peaceful Environment for Marawi Children,” the Army conducted an activity dubbed, “Tabak Educational Tour” for children ages 7 to 13 from the poorest communities. Even if only for a while, a sense of normalcy and an awareness of what it was like to have a peaceful community were provided to the children. The 1ID, PA and JTF Marawi gathered 70 children from the evacuation centers and brought them to Manila for a five-day educational tour.

According to Cpt Jo-Ann Petinglay, WESMINCOM spokesperson, the terrorists who attacked Marawi City recruited and used child warriors in the main battle area (MBA) and continued to recruit minors. Lt. Gen. Bautista said, “It is imperative that at the initial stage, those deemed vulnerable are being guided and educated to know their roles in the mainstream of society.”

One of the highlights of the tour was a simple meet and greet activity with the President at Malacañang. During this event, the President vowed to rebuild their lives and rebuild their devastated homes. He advised the children not to welcome and replicate the violence and ideology of the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group.

The children expressed hope that the war would be over soon so they could return to their homes. They also emotionally recalled the damage caused by the terrorists in Marawi City. They said they wanted to continue their education and hoped that the government would provide jobs for their parents. In a letter to “Tatay Digong”, one of the participants, Almerah Usman, said she was grateful to our soldiers for fighting the

The tour itinerary also included a visit to the HPA and PA museum for a day of peacebuilding and interactive activities. Facilitated by Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM), peace values were instilled on the children through creative and innovative activities in arts, music and movements, storytelling, and peace games.

Activities included the following:

  • Take Care of Peace – a game which highlighted the children’s role in proactive peacebuilding
  • Dear Allah Wall – an activity area where the children wrote and expressed their thankfulness to Allah
  • Peace Pond – this activity emphasized values by a peace hero which highlighted the notion that peace starts with ourselves for us to be important drivers and builders of a culture of peace
  • Peace Alley – the game showed different biases against certain groups of people. These biases should not hinder them to proactively help and maintain peace in our society

TPBPM distributed Hope Kits which included school supplies, peace notes, and bracelets made by volunteers.

“With this opportunity, our children were given a better perspective as part of a peaceful society. The objective of these activities was to increase their understanding and awareness about peaceful environments.” said Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, TPBPM Founder.

This initiative was conducted in partnership with the LDS Provincial Government, Philippine National Police (PNP) Women and Children Protection Desk, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Kilos Kabataan Livelihood Foundation, and Philippine Information Agency (PIA). Supporters of this activity also included: Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao – Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-HEART), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) , Makati Medical Center Foundation, One Meralco Foundation, TV5 Tulong Kapatid Foundation, PLDT Smart Foundation, North Luzon Expressway Corporation, Rotary Club of Padre Burgos Manila, and Max’s Restaurant.

Hijab Troopers

The Hijab Troopers initiative was composed of an all-female Joint AFP-PNP Community Relations Company, 60 Enlisted Army personnel and 40 Noncommissioned Police officers, with the primary mission of assisting the implementation of programs for IDPs who were traumatized by the Marawi crisis.

The Hijab Troopers wore hijabs / Muslim headscarf as a cultural gesture to adhere to Islamic teachings and practices. The human-induced disaster brought about by the Marawi crisis created an impact on the lives of IDPs. The role of the Hijab troopers was imperative in helping the IDPs to cope up with the psychological effects of war.

From September to November, the Hijab troopers went to several evacuation centers, namely: Ma. Cristina Evacuation Center, Baabol Janah Toril, Bgy Landa, Lanao del Norte, Bgy Tibanga, Iligan City, Al-Khariya Evacuation Center, National School of Fisheries, Baluno Evacuation Center, Sarip Alawi Evacuation Center, Nangka Evacuation Center, and Pantar Evacuation Center.

“Wearing the hijab was not just for show. It was an act of love, of sincerity, of recognizing the worth of every woman who feels different because of how she looks like. It is an act of being one with all Muslim women who feel discriminated just because they are wearing the hijab.”
– Bai Rohaniza Sumndad Usman

Prior to the Hijab troopers’ arrival in the area, it was evident that the air strikes and frequent bombings by government forces had angered some of the residents in the evacuation centers. The frustration, dissatisfaction, and disagreement felt, if left unaddressed, would be powerful drivers to cause people to answer the call of violence.

The presence of the Hijab troopers mitigated these sentiments by explaining the situation and the government’s decision to pursue such actions.

Aside from the psychosocial component of their mission, the Hijab troopers also acted as field reporters for our radio broadcast programs. They also acted as oversight personnel for possible security threats such as extremist recruitment and radical indoctrination. Evacuation areas could be a breeding ground for violent mobilization.

“Ang pagsuot po ng hijab ay isang tanda ng respeto sa relihiyon, kultura at sensitivity sa komunidad.”
PO3 Tata Lucman

Maj Jeffrex Molina said: “Ang Hijab Troopers, bilang field reporters sa aming radio programs, ay naging reliable source of information tungkol sa mga nangyayari doon sa barangay. Kaya ‘yong mga nakikinig ay magsasabi, ‘Uy sa barangay natin, sa center natin yan.’ Nagiging interesado na rin silang makinig.”

Since rapport had been established by our Hijab Troopers through the frequent conduct of psychosocial peacebuilding activities, residents were also able to rechannel their criticisms towards the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group. At the same time, our Hijab Troopers provided a venue for the community to immediately air their issues and concerns. Embraced by the community, the Hijab Troopers enabled the community to begin trusting the government.

Youth Sector

Project Enlightenment Program (PEP)

This initiative focused on the youth sector – the most vulnerable to extremist recruitment. Intelligence and anecdotal reports from Mindanao State University Main Campus, Marawi City (MSU-MCM) indicated robust recruitment efforts in the university. Thus, we engaged the university to support PEP, which was scheduled to start on the 3rd week of May 2017, but was shelved when the crisis started in Marawi City.

The PEP was designed to address the following identified factors or drivers of VE/ Radicalization:

Inter-Camp Peace and Leadership Training: Legitimizing the youth’s participation and leadership

“I want to teach my fellow youth that hope is still there for peace to be achieved in our city,” said Norman Musa, a youth leader in Marawi.

Prior to the conduct of the three-day Inter-Camp Peace and Leadership Training for Youth Leaders, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process conducted the first phase of its Early Recovery Program (ERP) for IDPs in Iligan City on the 18th to the 25th of June 2017; its second phase took place on 31st of July to the 2nd of August 2017 and on 5th of August 2017. This resulted in the participation of six key youth leaders, for each camp. They had been selected by their peers and included Norman.

These camps were in Ma. Christina, Sta. Elena, Buru-un Gym, Buru-un School of Fisheries, and Bgy Upper Hinaplanon (home-based camp). The youth peace leaders were tasked to take the lead in ensuring that youth concerns in their respective camps/communities would be recognized and addressed. It was also an opportunity for them to participate in and be mobilized for various youth peacebuilding initiatives—enabling them to see themselves not as victims and recipients of assistance, but as agents of change and peace.

In partnership with TPBPM, participants underwent basic orientation on peace, conflict, and violence, holistic understanding of the culture of peace, dialogue as a pathway to conflict resolution, and creative outlets such as arts and movement. These themes would aid youth peace leaders in their agenda planning, in their early recovery, and in their preparation to return to their communities from the evacuation centers.

In identifying the various forms of conflict and violence being experienced by their fellow youth in their community, common responses were family feuds or “rido”, lack of education (due to financial deprivation and discouragement), trauma brought about by the Marawi crisis, and exposure to the use of or trade in illegal drugs. Significantly, in their action plans, emerging issues included the need for educational and work opportunities.

“Gusto naming humingi ng maayos na mapagkukunan ng pera gaya ng trabaho o kung ano pa man na pwedeng mapagkakitaan upang sa ganoon di kami masyadong nahihirapan sa gastusin naming sa pang-araw-araw na pamumuhay,” one respondent said. (We want to ask for proper ways to earn money, like jobs or other ways to earn income, so that we will not be too much burdened by expenses for day-to-day living.)

“Education opportunities para sa mga kabataan na nahinto sa pag-aaral. Kahit homeschool dahil walang pera ‘yong bata para sa pamasahe,” another respondent said. (We want education opportunities for the youth who stopped studying. Even if only homeschool, because children do not have money for commute fare.)

With the apparent lack of interventions focusing on the IDP youth, this OPAPP initiative, with the active participation of the Marawi City LGU and government security forces, made a significant impact, especially in the rebuilding of their morale and amplifying their aspirations as youth. They were able to articulate not only their current conditions and peacebuilding concerns, but also the opportunities and solutions to address their problems.

“If there are a thousand steps needed to rebuild this country, we can start with one. And it is usually the most difficult. Taking that one step. And let’s take that one step together. Walang kasing tamis ang makitang magkaasama tayong lahat sa pinapangarap nating kapayapaan. (There is nothing sweeter than seeing all of us together in our hope for peace),” a participant from the Inter-Camp Peace and Leadership Training wrote.

Lt Col Herrera provided guidance in crafting the activity program content. He was also a resource speaker representing JTF Marawi. After providing an overview of the situation of the crisis, Lt Col Herrera challenged the participants in taking part on positive activism in rebuilding Marawi City. He emphasized that the youth should “dream for themselves and for Marawi City” taking on the Maranao culture and heritage of unity and bravery.

#BangonMarawi: Youth Leadership Camp
“Empowering Fillennials Towards Universal Peace and Development”

The Tabak Division, utilizing its CMO capabilities, particularly the Civil Affairs Pillars, in cooperation with the provincial government of Lanao del Sur and other sectors and agencies, conducted the Youth Leadership Camp in Mindanao State University Marawi City Main Campus. The convergence brought together 50 IDP youth, ages 16 to 25, from evacuation centers in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, and Lanao del Sur. Out of 50 participants, 25 of them were selected to participate in the Regional Youth Leadership Summit held on the 5th to 9th of October 2017 at the Mindanao Civic Center, Tubod, Lanao del Norte.

Considering the importance of the youth sector in our society and their vulnerability to enemy propaganda, recruitment and violent extremism where most of the victims were teenagers, the activity aimed to establish a strong support mechanism from the youth sector in further developing potential leaders, authentic and credible counter-messaging, taking into consideration the local context and culture.

Third Regional Youth Leadership Summit

“Youth of Today, Our Partner for a Positive Activism” Spearheaded by the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division Commander, BGen Roseller Murillo, the five-day Regional Youth Leadership Summit intensified the command’s efforts in engaging the youth sector and in addressing their concerns. Through the provision of the necessary foundations with new experiences, of seeing peaceful real-life applications, and of a better perspective of themselves, they became partners for change and positive activism.

Hosted by the province of Lanao del Norte, led by governor Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo, the 92 participants were composed of selected youth leaders from Zamboanga Peninsula, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Iligan City. The scheduled activities in the summit inculcated the role of youth in nationbuilding, developed their potential as leaders, and increase youth support for and confidence in the AFP and government by instilling in them the spirit of patriotism, nationalism, and social responsibility. The activities instilled among the participants a better understanding of themselves and their responsibilities, and encouraged them to recommend and implement programs in close partnership with LGUs “The development of the youth sector is one of the priority programs of the AFP. This activity aims to engage the youth to become responsible citizens and advocates of the government’s peace and development initiatives,” BGen Murillo said.

CVE initiatives for the youth sector must keep the youth away from perpetrators of violent extremism or recruiters to violent groups as part of countering violent extremism. Youth leadership camps, trainings and summits were mechanisms that provided the youth an avenue to work together in building peace, to engage in the design and implementation of CVE programs and policies, and to speak up and address grievances constructively. It also built their skills in communication, advocacy, and collaborative problem solving. In turn, these were skills they could also apply to foster dialogue and prevent conflicts within the basic unit of society, their families.

Intergenerational Approach:
Iteach Peace Facilitators’ Training

“What is a facilitator?” Micah Versola, Program Associate from TPBPM asked the participants rhetorically. Replying to her own question, she said, “In many ways, a facilitator is like a midwife. A midwife assists in the process of the creation, but is not the producer of the end result.”

The second “I Teach Peace Facilitators Training Workshop” was organized by TPBPM and held at Midway Beach Resort, Misamis Oriental on the 15th to the 18th of September. There were 44 individuals participants and they were made up of 32 Maranao youth and community leaders and 12 personnel from the security sector, which included soldiers from JTF Marawi and PNP personnel from the Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office (LDSPPO). The activity aimed, “to develop their ability to foster peace through peace education, servant leadership, and the implementation of TPBPM’s innovative and creative activities such as music, arts, games, sports, and community service.”

When asked what they hoped to gain from the workshop, one of the participants, Ssg Danilo Banquiao, said that he wanted to change how the people perceived state actors from the security sector. He also wanted to start with the children. Another participant, 2Lt Sheila Mae Calamig, said that as a Philippine Army officer, she wanted to help bring about peace to the people affected by the Marawi crisis. She further explained that her attendance in this event would give her the opportunity to learn and equip herself with the knowledge on how to do so. She too was a Hijab trooper.

Aside from techniques for good facilitation and peace processing, the participants were also taught how to conduct psychosocial first aid in the community as I Teach Peace Facilitators. In her presentation, “Building a Citizenry of Peace Heroes”, Bai Rohaniza Sumndad Usman, Executive Director of TPBPM, said that we must give emphasis and focus on children, because children learn what they live through. “They are at their vulnerable state when they are still young,” she explained. Thus, as I Teach Peace Facilitators, “we just don’t allow the kids to just play; rather, as they play, they learn peace-based values.” Learning to teach peace, to build a culture of peace for children would help counter violent narratives and develop in children the value of compassion, service to others, empowerment, respect, and understanding, according to her.

Lt Gen Bautista said, “As we continue to build strong partnerships with various civilian organizations, this is one of the initiatives of your JTF Marawi to ensure that those children displaced by the crisis in Marawi City are given adequate community support for peace building programs.”

The participants were also given a deeper and holistic understanding of conflict and violence by being asked intrapersonal questions. These were in regard to their experiences of violence and conflict they were exposed to in the community in relation to the Marawi crisis. They were also asked what they thought the barriers were to the attainment of a peaceful community. These exercises aimed to teach them how to analyze conflicts, in order for them to choose the right path towards non-violence by way of conflict resolution and conflict transformation.

At the end of the training-workshop, the I Teach Peace Facilitators had a simulation activity at Mahad Cabaro Al-Islamie, Upper Hinaplanon, Iligan City, with almost 300 children. A Super Peace Hero Gallery was produced where they shared what super peace powers they wanted to possess to help rebuild their community. Encouraging a proactive involvement and participation of the children during their formative years would give them a sense of purpose. In turn, this would lessen chances that they would respond to the lures of recruitment by perpetrators of violent ideologies.

Armed with Paintbrushes: Peace is Possible

Anchored on the theme, “Peace is Possible”, our troops organized a three-day mural painting activity on the 80-meter long king walls along the highway of West Pantar, Lanao del Norte on the 20th to the 22nd of October 2017. Students from MSU Marawi City Main Campus, their school organizations, and IDPs participated.

MSU-OKIR, through Nor-huds Kamid, conceptualized the design for the mural painting, an embodiment of the message that the AFP wanted to communicate. It stated: “To all Filipinos and those affected by war, most especially the victims of the Marawi siege, peace can be achieved. Thus, peace is possible.” Maj Jeffrex Molina, Commander of the Public Affairs Task Unit, JTG Tabang, said this message was crafted after a realization that peace could be attained with the help of everyone.

Jalicareza Jamail, MSU student, said the mural was initially envisioned to have a darker theme, with images of destruction and war, a reminder of the battle that had transpired in Marawi City; however, its creators decided to make it more positive, in order to tell Filipinos that they no longer needed to be afraid.

“Naisip po namin na kapag nakita ito, walang takot na madarama ulit ‘yong mga Maranao, takot sa mga sundalo, ‘yong parang tulung-tulungan ito na Pilipino tayo lahat, na magtutulungan tayo lahat para sa kinabukasan,” said Jalicareza Jamail, an MSU student. (We thought, when this mural would be viewed, Maranaos should lose their fear, including their fear of soldiers; they would realize that we are all Filipinos helping one another for the future.)

Another volunteer, Ran Sittie Candotan added, “Gusto po namin umpisahan na ipakita sa lahat na hindi violence ang gamitin para makamit ang kapayapaan dito sa Mindanao.” (We want to start showing everyone that violence is not the way to attain peace in Mindanao.)

Similar to the AFP’s 3,770-meter peace mural along ESDA, White Plains Avenue, and Col Bonny Serrano Avenue in Quezon City, the collaborative effort and positive feedback from the youth and other participants for this AFP-initiated activity created an avenue to connect to the security sector. Thus, this debunked their notion of the military as an outright “combat force”. Instead, it highlighted the soft approach of our uniformed personnel in promoting and mainstreaming peace. It also brought together Muslims and non-Muslims to harmoniously work side by side to achieve a project of significance.

The activity was held in collaboration with the Junior Chamber International (JCI), San Juan Dambana and Davies Paint Reinvented.

Chapter 5: Lessons Learned

“In crushing the most serious attempt to export violent extremism and radicalism to the Philippines and to the region, we have contributed to prevent its spread in Asia.”
— Sec Delfin Lorenzana

The Battle of Marawi was an eye opener for the Philippine security sector in the light of the operational complexity of the battleground. The socio-political context of the conflict area and the urban nature of the battle combined to form the most multi-faceted military operations for the AFP, PNP, and PCG in recent history.

The Marawi crisis, which officially ended on the 23rd of October 2017, exactly five months after it had begun on the 23rd of May was the biggest and bloodiest form of urban warfare the country faced in recent history. This crisis will certainly form part of global trends in terrorism and will be a subject for study by socio-political security experts, police, and the military for years to come. The official statistics were staggering: 1,131 dead including 165 from the military and police, 919 terrorists and 47 civilians; close to 400,000 civilians displaced and evacuated to nearby cities and municipalities, where they were sheltered in 69 evacuation centers; and 24 barangays totally devastated and uninhabitable. The cost of the destruction of Marawi City and its economy would definitely amount to billions of pesos.

Countering violent extremism is a growing and evolving realm of policy and practice. It is integral to develop practices designed to prevent conflict and counter violent extremist views with a more localized, inclusive, and sustainable approach. From the Marawi experience, we can draw insights and lessons in dealing with subjective issues such as extremist ideologies to contribute and enhance the CVE agenda.

We have learned that violent extremism thrives in areas where significant tensions exist and where the risk of violence is already high. Thus, there is a need to focus on prevention long before the radicalization process can take hold and spread its violence to even more areas. In this context, the adversary is not a group, nor is it represented by any individual; it is instead an ideology. The drive to answer this ideology’s call of violent extremism can be reduced by reframing narratives with positive and coherent tones.

However, it is imperative to understand and address systematic and structural problems, which have implications in the day-to-day lives of people in communities vulnerable to violent extremism, such as marginalization and historical injustice. It is important to meet their socio-economic needs and address the deeper causes of conflict for CVE to be effective.

Being the most vulnerable sector and having the most pliant minds in any given community, a number of CVE initiatives, programs, and activities should be directed towards the children and youth sector.

These CVE initiatives should be from the bottom-up. Communities should be consulted every step of the way as they are being crafted, from planning to implementation. The crafting should be sensitive to children’s special needs and the community’s culture and traditions. Thus, our Army needs to make changes and adjust the skillsets of its CMO operators.

CMO has shown itself capable of engaging communities and delivering effective counter-narratives. Therefore, the country’s policymakers should explore how this competency can be applied further to solve many of the country’s social and economic problems.

Our experience in Marawi City showed that CVE could be effective if there was cooperation and trust among the military, LGUs, and CSO.

Nevertheless, government security forces would have to always respect the human rights of the people in the communities they operated. If not, CVE programs would never influence development of a positive outlook among the populace for the military and the local and national government.

The five-month long campaign also showed that it was indispensable to engage women and ensure their participation at all levels of decision making in the design and implementation of CVE policy. This is because women can be positive agents of change in their communities.


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Book 5 Production Team

LtGen Rolando Joselito D Bautista AFP
Commanding General, Philippine Army

Maj Gen Robert M Arevalo AFP
Vice Commander, Philippine Army

Maj Gen Danilo Chad D Isleta AFP
Chief of Staff, Philippine Army

Maj Gen Gilbert I Gapay AFP
Former Chief of Staff, Philippine Army

Ltc Jo-ar A Herrera (Inf) PA
Director, Operations Research Center (P), Philippine

Dr. Isabela Cojuangco-Suntay
Consultant (MSAB Member)
Production Team Leader

Marlon C Magtira
Atty Melvin G Calimag
Enrique A Suarez
Mavreen Jackie P Yapchiongco
Mereniza D Gomez
Cpt Leonard P Del Rosario (Inf) PA
Sgt William C Sajul (MS) PA


Paul Dawnson M Formaran
Ivon Claire C Domingo
Ma Sheyna Elayne G Delos Reyes
Derkie Alfonso


Pfc Marlon B Malalis (Inf) PA
Juan Paolo L Magtira
Graphic/ Layout Artist
1st Infantry (Tabak) Division, PA
Civil-Military Operations Regiment, PA
Joint Task Force Marawi
Civil Relations Service, AFP


Team Support Staff
Maj Isidro DG VIcente (INF) PA
Deputy Director, ORC (P), PA
Maj Donny N Ravago (MI) PA
Chief, Policy Studies Branch, ORC (P), PA
Cpt Franco Salvador M Suelto (INF) PA
Chief, Admin Branch, ORC (P), PA
Cpt Glenn D De Ramos (INF) PA
Asst Chief, Admin Branch, ORC (P), PA
Cpt Leonard P Del Rosario (INF) PA
Chief, Strategic Branch, ORC (P), PA
Cpt Menard S Rocero (INF) PA
Chief, Policy and Special Studies Section, ORC (P), PA
Lt Col Elmer B Suderio GSC (INF) PA OCG, PA
Maj Jelson Buyuccan (INF) PA OCG, PA
Maj George B Delos Angeles (CE) PA OG1, PA
Maj Jan B Molero (INF) PA OG2, PA
Maj Cesar Deocampo III (INF) PA OG3, PA
Maj Donato A Molina Jr (QMS) PA OG4, PA
Maj Geomar L Pipit (INF) PA OCG, PA
Maj Maria Lourdes E Ranario PA OCG, PA
Cpt Kim L Apitong (INF) PA OCG, PA
Cpt Aris A Gerero (INF) PA OCG, PA
Cpt Jommel Ray P Parreño (INF) PA OCG, PA
Cpt Marc Anthony G Romero (SC) PA OG6, PA
Cpt Apple Ann L Belano (AGS) PA OG9, PA
Tsg Melvin P Saludes (SC) PA ORC (P), PA

Ssg Harold L Carbonell (OS) PA TDC, TRADOC, PA
Ssg Loin V Labilles (Inf) PA OCG, PA
Sgt William C Sajul (MS) PA ORC (P), PA
Sgt Ronie M Halasan (OS) PA ORC (P), PA
Cpl Renz Michael T Endaya (Inf) PA OCG, PA
Pfc Jerry R Sibuyan (Inf) PA ORC (P), PA
Pfc Marlon B Malalis (Inf) PA ORC (P), PA
Pfc Joyce T Jimenez (Inf) PA AAR, PA
Pvt Eva May S Abian (Inf) PA ORC (P), PA
Mary Chriszelle M Puzon CE OG1, PA
Jinky Marie R Semaña CE OG2, PA
Aila Marielle S Conopio CE OG2, PA
Abner H Manuel Jr CE OG2, PA

Pamela Chelsea M Ortiz CE OG3, PA
Chryss Frederick R Pascual CE OG5, PA
Samantha Nicole C Suarez OG6, PA
Melrick B Lucero CE OG7, PA
Alexis Faye A Villegas CE OG8, PA
Gayle P Bitarra CE OG9, PA
Ma Sheyna Elayne G Delos Reyes CE OAGAD, PA
Paolo K Mangulabnan CE RDC, ASCOM, PA
Princess Fame I Pascua
Ivon Claire C Domingo
Ian Irving C Bacungan
Nenia A Dulom
Llynette Sheila R Binasoy
Bernadette N Patañag
Derkie Alfonso
Harold E Canlas
Jayrald M Vasquez
Juan Paolo L Magtira

Special thanks to:
The offices of Coordinating, Technical, Personal, and Special Staff of the Headquarters, Philippine Army

Handbook Series