LOCAL officials and other stakeholders in Negros Oriental supported on Wednesday, August 3, the government efforts to end the war in Marawi City and promote peace amid the terror threat in the country.
Their pledges of commitment were made during the launching of the “Support Our Troops” in Marawi movement at the Robinsons Place shopping mall in Dumaguete City.
“The 'Support Our Troops' campaign is an initiative of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to boost the morale of our soldiers in the battlefield by showing that fellow Filipinos rally behind Filipino soldiers in fighting the terrorist rebels in Marawi,” said AFP Chief-of-Staff General Eduardo Año.
Governor Roel Degamo, in his message read by Vice Governor Jose Baldado, lauded the AFP and the Philippine National Police (PNP) members who are fighting to maintain peace and security in the communities.
“I know how hard and life-threatening your duty is. It entails sacrificing your heart (and) your life for the love of your country,” the governor said.
He said simple acts of kindness for these troops, such as providing them food and water and other basic needs, would help boost the morale for those who are still out there in Marawi fighting the local terrorist group.
Aside from supplies, the governor said people should also offer prayers for the troops, whose lives are at risk, as they continue to fight for peace in Marawi.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, meanwhile, is hoping the conflict in Marawi City, which he described as a beautiful city, will soon be over.
“We honor our troops, who have sacrificed their lives, and the least we can do is support them,” the mayor said.
Once rebuilding starts, he said it could become the “summer capital of Mindanao.”
When evacuees arrived in Dumaguete, Remollo said, the City welcomed and provided them with basic needs as Maranaos are freedom-loving Filipinos and simple traders.
Bais City Mayor Mercedes Goñi also thanked the troops, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace in Marawi.
Goñi said she tried her best to give what the police and Army need, as they are “our heroes” because our lives depend on them.
She added that Muslims are to be treated the same way as Ilocanos, Bicolano, Tagalog, Kapampangan, Ilonggo, Cebuano or Tausug, because “we are all Filipinos.”
First district Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong encouraged the people to cooperate and support the PNP and AFP in whatever way possible.
“The terror groups who continue to bring havoc in this country should not be tolerated at all costs and must be defeated with all seriousness. We must stop their growing influence so as to discourage others who are willing to emulate their deeds,” she said.
The Support Our Troops in Marawi project in Dumaguete is spearheaded by the Bantay Bayanihan Para sa Kapayapaan, a nongovernment organization headed by Marietta Jambora, in cooperation with the Provincial Government, the City Government and other stakeholders.
The project involves the selling of T-shirts at P150 each, with P20 to be given to the Marawi troops through Operation Blessings Foundation Philippines. (PNA)