By Ellson Quismorio
Time to be more proactive against terrorists.
Such was the appeal of Mindanao lawmakers following the attack Tuesday by the Maute group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
The armed Maute members wore black and carried the dreaded black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with them as they marched into the city.
“The Marawi terrorist attack should prod the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to be proactive in the fight against ISIS-inspired local terrorist groups,” Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Barbers said.
“It’s high time for authorities to shift from being reactive to taking proactive measures. Numerous people, both civilians and members of the military, have been injured in the current onslaught and in other recent terror attacks. How much more are we willing to risk?” asked Barbers, chairman of the Committee on Dangerous Drugs.
The solon further prodded the government to “give war” to the terrorists.
Davao City 1st district Rep. Karlo Nograles said it’s the public that should take a cue from the Maute siege.
“This incident should serve as a wake-up call for the people who have been too afraid to expose the persons behind these terrorist groups. It is time to fight back by reporting these people to authorities,” he said.
Nograles, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, underscored that the only way to defeat such groups is for those in the communities to come forward and pinpoint who they are.
“These terrorists integrate themselves in communities, and we need everyone’s help in flushing them out.”
Nograles also called on Filipinos to ask for Divine Protection for the soldiers and policemen who have been sent to drive away the Maute bandits even as they reportedly attempt to take over private and public installations.
Barbers and Nograles are with the supermajority in the House of Representatives (HOR).
For his part, another Supermajority solon in Muntinlupa lone district Rep. Ruffy Biazon called Duterte’s placement of the entire Mindanao under Martial Law a necessary move.
“It’s decisive and appropriate to the threat posed by the terrorist group ISIS. The necessity of imposing it Mindanao wide is due to the fact that the extremists can easily try to distract the state security forces by launching counter- and diversionary attacks within Mindanao due to their presence in the island and ease of deployment,” he said.
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