While the conflict in Marawi City is ongoing where government troops engage the Maute terrorist group in fierce firefights, soldiers are also fighting another battle over the Internet.
When the crisis in Marawi broke out on May 23, 2017, the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division was incidentally conducting a series of trainings on Digital Media Capability Enhancement. The participating personnel in the said training from various units all over the Division eventually became the core of Task Force Marawi’s social media monitoring team.
“This is part of the Division’s digital media initiatives to equip our personnel not only for actual combat operations but also enhance our digital capability in facing another kind of battle using Internet technologies for disseminating information online and bring the Division to the community it serves,” said Brig. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commander of the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division and Task Force Marawi.
According to Marlon Magtira, digital media training facilitator, positive sentiments on the military are overwhelming while there are negative and fake information posted on social media networks.
“The enemy and their supporters are actively utilizing online digital media to spread false information about the situation in Marawi City. But our team is on the look-out to engage and provide counter measures and prevent the enemy of sowing fear and terror,” Brig. Gen. Bautista said.