On 02 August 2017, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Eduardo Año flew to war-torn Marawi to visit troops stationed near the heart of the main battle zone, to check on the situation on the ground and boost the morale of our servicemen.
Troops stationed a mere 300 meters away from the military’s most forward position in the conflict-hit city welcomed Año, who wore a bulletproof visit throughout his visit. The soldiers were members of the Scout Rangers, a unit under the military chief.
Año’s visit stands at the third month of conflict with Islamic State (ISIS)-linked Maute Group. More than a hundred soldiers and 500 terrorists have been killed as of this writing.
Año was accompanied by Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez and 1st Infantry Division chief and Marawi City ground commander Brigadier General Rolando Joselito Bautista.
Colonel Edgard Arevalo, chief of the AFP Public Affairs Office, confirmed Año’s visit to the main battle zone. Arevalo quoted Año as telling the troops, “I went here to inspire you. But you were the ones who inspired me instead.”
Año and other top Philippine security officials have repeatedly flown to Marawi City throughout the conflict, but had previously only visited the brigade headquarters or the provincial capitol located about two kilometers from the war zone.
Arevalo said commanders on the ground briefed Año regarding the final phase of Marawi military operations: “General Año was given a comprehensive situation update on the ongoing operation in Marawi. They gave him a detailed presentation on the courses of action they have planned for the final phase of the military operation.”