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General who led Marines in reclaiming Lanao del Norte from rebels dies

Froilan Gallardo

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General who led Marines in reclaiming Lanao del Norte from rebels dies

MARINES POSITION. Marines under the late retired Lieutenant General Emmanuel Teodosio take up position for the capture of Camp Abubakar, main stronghold of the MILF, in Maguindanao, in this photo taken in 2000. Teodosio passed away on Monday, October 23, 2023.

Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

The late retired Lieutenant General Emmanuel Teodosio rose to prominence for leading troops against the MILF in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, 23 years ago

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Retired Lieutenant General Emmanuel Teodosio, a Marine commander celebrated for reclaiming a town in Lanao del Norte from rebels 23 years ago, passed away early on Monday, October 23. He was 73.

Teodosio succumbed to lymphoma cancer in Taguig, Rizal, his son Jun confirmed.

The late general rose to prominence as the commanding officer of the 1st Marine Brigade which launched offensives against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kauswagan town in Lanao del Norte in 2000. At that time, Kauswagan had been under the control of guerrillas.

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Following the success of Teodosio’s Marine forces in Kauswagan, then-president Joseph Estrada declared an “all-out war” against the MILF, displacing about half a million people, who sought refuge in evacuation centers throughout Mindanao.

Teodosio’s brigade received orders to target Camp Abubakar in nearby Maguindanao, which served as the largest MILF encampment and the rebels’ seat of power. 

He was also directed to seize Camp Bushra, the second-largest MILF camp in Lanao del Sur, an objective that he accomplished following three days of intense combat in June 2000.

After the fall of Camp Abubakar, Teodosio was sent to Sulu to pursue the Abu Sayyaf rebels, who were holding several foreigners as hostages at the time.

In his role as the deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Teodosio oversaw the training of 1,500 Filipino soldiers through a collaborative effort with 300 US Special Forces under the US-RP Balikatan exercise, which took place in Basilan and Zamboanga City in 2002.

Teodosio also played a crucial role in quelling the coup attempt led by young military officers during the Oakwood mutiny during the Arroyo administration in 2003.

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class of 1972, Teodosio was subsequently appointed as the commander of the AFP Visayas Command in Cebu in 2004. – Rappler.com

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