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Protect your children from terrorist groups, AFP general tells Dumagueteños

DUMAGUETE CITY - A general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday urged Dumagueteños to be on the lookout for their children and the youth, as they are the primary targets of terrorist groups, particularly for recruitment into their organization.

"We want you to be vigilant to prevent another Marawi (siege)," said Brigadier General Ramiro Manuel Rey, who was in Dumaguete City for an information caravan recounting the facts of last year's Battle of Marawi.

Rey was among the top officials during the Marawi siege, being the commander of Joint Task Force Lanao. In his talk here in the city, he retold the experiences of the locals in Marawi who suffered during the siege, and how Dumagueteños can learn from them.

Rey said he hopes that through the caravan, citizens will properly report possible terrorist threats to authorities, so these can be addressed properly to avoid another major attack like what the ISIS-inspired Maute group did in Marawi City last year.

"It's not waiting for your leaders to help you. Dapat mayroon ka ring mai-share para sa ikabubuti ng inyong bayan," Rey said, adding that the AFP is not only monitoring Muslim terrorist groups, but is also addressing the insurgency problem particularly with the New People's Army.

"Nasa korte na po 'yung kaso. We will follow what the court decides," Rey said, commenting on the case filed against the "Mabinay 6," or the six suspected NPA members who were captured in an operation in Mabinay town on March 3. Those arrested are young people, including 21-year-old Myles Albasin, a mass communication graduate from the University of the Philippines-Cebu.

Rey also told reporters that the AFP is doing civil-military operations to educate citizens, especially students, from various communities on terrorism and insurgency.

Dumaguete is one of the AFP's latest stops in its information drive on the Marawi siege, after Mayor Felipe Remollo and Councilor Alan Gel Cordova invited the AFP to include it in its campaign. —KG, GMA News