WHILE lauding the termination of the combat operations in Marawi City as the war has finally ended, local authorities are not downgrading their security measures and will continue with their full alert status to protect the communities from security threats posed by lawless armed groups.
Davao City Police Office (DCPO) director Police Senior Superintendent Alexander Tagum said on Monday, October 22, that for the Philippine National Police (PNP), although the threats of terrorism have lessened after many terrorists were killed in the operation, they will not lower their guards and will continue to prepare for any eventualities.
“We in the Police Service are glad na tapos na ang Combat Operations sa Marawi because that means wala na ang threat posed by the Maute Terrorist Gang sa Marawi. But we will not relax our guard against possible attacks on our democracy,” Tagum said.
Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry Battalion (IB) commander Lieutenant Colonel Raymund Dante Lachica said the liberation of Marawi City is a welcome development as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) could now focus on other security threats in other parts of Mindanao.
“Finally it's over and troops can now be pulled out and shift their efforts towards their former Area of Operation or areas where it deemed necessary to prevent or preempt other threat groups just like the NPA or Communist Terrorists,” he said.
According to him, the five month war has given the government forces a lesson to maintain a strong defense and counter-terrorism security measures as to avoid that this incident will not happen again.
“Marawi will now begin their rehabilitation and reconstruction. It's now a history and we have learned so much from it. We will improve more and enhance our skills and capabilities for not a similar incident will happen in the future. We will be ready for any eventualities,” he said.
Likewise, 10th Infantry Division (ID) Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief Captain Jerry Lamosao said they will continue with their security monitoring and they are one with the government in its success in clearing the war-torn city from terrorists.
“Continue ang pagpapaigting ng seguridad dito sa area ng 10ID as part of our operations. Tuluy-tuloy ang aming Community Support Program,” he said.
Maranao Tribe Deputy Mayor Randy Uzman told SunStar Davao on Monday that 60 percent of the Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) who sought temporary evacuation in the city have started returning to Marawi.
He said there are a total of 1,782 individuals who came here in the city following the attack of Maute Terrorist Group in Marawi City last May 23.
At present, there are now more than 300 IDPs who are still here in the city.
He also commended the troops for the success of the operation.