Press Release
January 22, 2018

Senate pays tribute to Marawi heroes

The Senate adopted today a resolution commending and honoring the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their bravery and heroism in fighting off terrorists in Marawi City.

Senate Resolution 401, authored by Senator Risa Hontiveros, was adopted in consideration of Resolutions 411, 416, 418, 536 and 540. The resolutions were introduced by Senators Leila De Lima, Joseph Victor (JV) Ejercito, Senate President Koko Pimentel III, and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri respectively.

Hontiveros said she filed the resolution to give recognition to the soldiers and policemen who bravely fought and repelled the Maute-Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

"They, of the AFP and the PNP deserve our utmost support and praise," she said.

Senator Majority Leader Tito Sotto III, sponsor of Resolution 401, said he would like to congratulate the heroes of the AFP and the PNP as well as the soldiers who died to defend the people of Marawi City.

"The AFP and the PNP's commitment to service and duty was clearly shown and proven during the imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao. Despite the deficiency in intelligence, surveillance, ammunitions and the needed armament, they were able to free Marawi from terrorists," Sotto said.

"Each of us has our own personal battle to fight every day. But these courageous men would always put aside their own personal aspirations for the safety and security of the Filipino people," he added.

Zubiri said the adoption of the resolution would recognize the men and women who fought for the "basic freedom that we are enjoying today in this Chamber today."

He said the men and women of the AFP and the PNP who fought to defend the Filipinos and the country should be honored for their gallantry and valor.

Earlier, officials and employees of the Senate expressed their gratitude to the military commandos who took part in the successful hunt for terrorist leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omarkhayam Maute.

Senate Secretary Lutgardo Barbo led workers of the Senate in thanking the 15 soldiers, mostly from the elite 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, who were invited as guests-of-honor for the institution's Monday morning flag rites.

The commandos, led by Captain Aris Gerero and Captain Jommel Ray Parreño, were welcomed with loud cheers and applause by the Senate employees.

Barbo said the Senate is thankful for the heroic actions of the commandos, who were among those responsible for killing Hapilon and Maute on October 16, 2017.

Hapilon was considered as the Islamic State "emir" in Southeast Asia, while Maute, along with his brother Abdullah, spearheaded the five-month long attack in Marawi City.

"In behalf of Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, and the rest of the senators and the employees of the Philippine Senate,... we express our thanks, our eternal gratitude to you in taking back from the Maute group the beautiful city of Marawi," Barbo said.

Barbo said the soldiers' efforts would benefit not only the people of Marawi or Filipinos today, but also "the Filipinos yet unborn."

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