AFP calls on Filipinos to unite behind gov’t in war vs ISIS
By Cielito M. Reganit
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Wednesday called on all Filipinos to unite as a nation behind the government in the fight against ISIS to prevent the terror and violence in Marawi City from spreading throughout the country.
AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Resituto Padilla made the call during the Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañang while highlighting the need to end discussions on what might have been and concentrate more on the present and future threats that the country faces in view of the ISIS problem.
“Whatever happened before were all a matter after the fact already. It already happened. The most important matter to us now is the remaining armed group in Marawi and the threat it carries coming from the bigger group in the Middle East,” he said in response to questions if ever there were lapses committed by the government prior to the Marawi crisis.
“So these are the things that we must concentrate on. We must as a nation unite and condemn because after all, they were the ones who started it. And they have invaded and come into this country already to wreak havoc, to burn, to kill, and what have you. That is terrorism right in our very doorsteps and this is the problem and we call on everyone to unite behind government to work on that,” Padilla said.
In calling for unity against terrorism, Padilla stressed that while security preparations by government are presently ample enough to prevent the Marawi violence from spreading, he said “security is a shared responsibility and the community must do its share to foil security threats.”
“What is happening in some parts of Europe is worse than what is happening here. By in large what we have laid out as a security preparation is meant to preempt any of these activities from happening in our own land. And that is where shared responsibility on security comes in,” he said.
“If all of our citizens participate and are involved in watching their environs, their communities, keeping watch, reporting suspicious looking characters or items that are left unattended, our security forces and our police and all those tasked in government to look up for the welfare of all our citizens will be able to their jobs faster,” Padilla said.
He added that a united front to resist terrorism is now more crucial following calls by ISIS for its members to step up their worldwide attacks, particularly in the Philippines.
“We have seen what happened in Marawi and imagine if that is what they will do to the whole country. We must all work together, issue out a united and collective public condemnation of all these things that are happening in Marawi now, and join hands together in resisting the entry of this evil force because this is no longer a simple matter. It’s already a fight between good and evil, and you must all realize that by now,” Padilla said.
The call for unity was also highlighted by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella who called on politicians to set aside political differences for the good of the country.
“I’d just like to underline what Brigadier General (Padilla) has said that the Philippines needs to make a united stand and that it needs to understand that this is no longer intramurals within ourselves, but we need to be united against a common enemy,” he said in the same briefing.
“In the words of the General, it’s a fight between good and evil. Really, our sovereignty is being confronted, and I believe it’s time to set aside petty politics and the things that separate us. I believe, it’s a call to the Filipino nation to be able to stand together as one. It’s really high time we do that,” Abella said. (PNA)