I
admit that we are really great dozers. It might be just some of us, but I
think, its already a cadet’s signature. Kidding aside, I have attended already
a lot of conferences, talks and guest lecturing, but this time it’s a different
thing for me. Even though I am a terrible dozer, I really made myself awake for
I’ve been waiting for this time to be enlightened about what had really
happened in Marawi. Fresh from battle, LTC Ramon Flores brought to us fresh
information that everyone of us is really thrilled to hear. Many has been said
about how the battle in Marawi went and ended up to be as such, but hearing the
story directly from the Battalion Commander of the 63rd IB is a
relief, from hearsays and speculations. The Battle in Marawi have already come
to its end, but we cannot deny the fact that indeed, as what LTC Flores said,
the battle was won by ordinary soldiers doing extraordinary deeds.

                It
is already said that the authorities underestimated the terrorist groups. They
did not assess properly the extent to which the ISIS group would support the
local terrorist group in the country. The AFP turned this down when they
thought that every challenge is an opportunity. This, however, resulted to the
urban warfare in which our troops, were hopefully able to adjust. For them this
is a new kind of environment, new battlefield because I know that most of these
men are trained for jungle warfare. They portrayed how they were able to adapt
to urban warfare through their own version of Great Wall and even the use of
improvised defensive equipment from scrap metals, such as galvanized iron
scattered in the area.

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                Every
moment is crucial and every decision is critical. Even crossing a 70-meter open
area needs decisive and cautious planning. This showed me that every combat
situation is unique, so I should learn to adapt and innovate.

                But
then there are somethings that keeps on lingering in my mind. I am thinking of
how insurgency affects the status of our country economically and politically
and also the way other country looks at us. Its already 21st century
and I think at this very moment the country should be looking on how to strengthen
our national security against the threat of other countries rather than wasting
the government’s resources fixing the problems with the local terrorist groups.

                All
in all, this lecture taught me how to trust in the innate capabilities of my
troops given the tactically challenging environment. In this kind of situation,
what I also need is to have faith in God that everything will turn up for the
better. In the end, this faith that I will have will clear the fog of war.