THEIR sacrifices deserved to be honored.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Police General Guillermo Eleazar, honored state security forces and the people of war-torn Marawi City for their sacrifice and courage in retaking the city from the hands of the ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists in 2017.
PGen Eleazar was in Marawi City today, October 16, to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the city’s liberation.
“Today, as we remember that moment when Marawi City was declared free from months-long siege of our enemies, the more than 222,000 men and women of the Philippine National Police are with us in honoring those sacrifices,” PGen Eleazar said.
More than 1,000 people died in the five-month intense fighting, including at least 160 soldiers and policemen and more than 47 civilians.
The once busy and economically-vibrant Marawi City was reduced into debris and damaged buildings and structures, with experts estimating that billions of pesos were lost as a result of the siege.
“Maraming buhay ang nawala, maraming kabuhayan ang nauwi sa wala at ang dating masigla at maunlad na lungsod ay naging bakas at mukha ng digmaan,” PGen Elesazar said.
“But that fierce battle did not only leave a trail of death and destruction to Marawi City but more significantly it has also left a trail of sacrifice and courage of our brothers who fought for liberty and peace of the entire nation,” the Chief PNP stressed.
PGen Eleazar believed that there were many stories of heroism that remain untold about how the government forces and the civilians tried to free the city from the hands of the rebels.
Despite a number of lives lost and the destruction following the battle, PGen Eleazar stressed that the hostilities also left a trail of sacrifice and courage of our brothers who bravely fought to bring back freedom and peace not just in the city, but in the entire nation.
“Sacrifice and courage that transcend religious beliefs, sacrifice and courage that go beyond cultural borders, and sacrifice and courage that should always remind us that whatever our differences, we are all Filipinos under one flag and one Republic,” he said.
The PNP chief expressed confidence that Marawi City would bounce back and a new city will rise that is founded on the courage and service of the fallen and the surviving liberators, the unity of its people, and the cooperation of the entire nation.
President Rodrigo Duterte declared Marawi City liberated from terrorist influence on October 17, 2017. The five-month battle claimed the lives of more than a thousand individuals, including police and soldiers, and left the city in ruins.
At present, the national government’s rehabilitation efforts for Marawi City is ongoing.
(PHOTO CREDIT: PNP-PIO)