MANILA, Philippines — A network of groups from Mindanao has pressed the government to fast-track the rebuilding of Marawi City, as it said many who were displaced by the Maute siege four years ago have yet to return home despite promises.
The battle between state forces and the Islamic State-inspired group stretched for four months in 2017. In its wake were 370,000 forced out of their homes, and a cost of damage at P11.5 billion.
Vice President Leni Robredo releases a statement a year after the siege in Marawi. She says that even though the battle has ended, the fight to bring back to normal the lives and livelihood of Marawi residents continues.
“Marami pa ring pamilya ang walang permanenteng bahay at maayos na hanapbuhay. Maraming mga mamamayan ang nangangailangan pa rin ng ayuda,” she says.
“Sinimulan na ng pamahalaan ang proseso ng rehabilitasyon. Nakiisa ang ating opisina rito sa pagtayo ng Angat Buhay Village sa Barangay Sagongsongan, sa Marawi, na magsisilbing kabahagi ng mga transitory shelter para sa mga nawalan ng tahanan sa pinakanasalantang bahagi ng Marawi. Mahalaga ang mga pagkilos na ito, at marami pang kailangang gawin para makabangon nang tuluyan muli ang Marawi.”
Bahagi nito ang pagkilala na maliban sa mga gusaling nagiba at buhay na nasira, kailangang pangalagaan ang boses ng mga taga-Marawi sa pagsasagawa ng rehabilitasyon. Ang tinig na pinakamahalagang mapakinggan ay galing sa mga pamayanan na naapektuhan ng digmaan.
Three years since its liberation, Vice Leni Robredo renews the call for a more urgent approach to the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi.
The vice president also calls for the government’s commitment to the rebuilding of a more peaceful and prosperous city.
“Liberation entails much more than silencing the gunfire,” Robredo says.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros joins calls to highlight the plight of displaced residents of Marawi City more than three years after the siege that destroyed a large part of the capital of Lanao del Sur.
“The bloody and violent siege that took place in Marawi is still alive in the displacement of our sisters and brothers three years later, today. That is 1,095 days of worsening poverty and violence that they have suffered because we still have not made their pain a priority,” she says in a statement Sunday.
She says the pandemic makes the displacement of Marawi resdients even more painful as they wait for reconstruction in the city.
“Dahil habang tayo ay nakakulong sa ating mga tahanan, karamihan sa kanila ay wala pa ring mauuwian (While we are confined to our homes, most of them still have no homes at all). Washing hands, social distancing, staying healthy and earning income despite everything are especially heavy when you have not even been given the opportunity to properly recover economically, socially and psychologically, from the trauma and pain of a bloody war.”
The Liberal Party says Marawi residents should return to their homes three years after the bloody Marawi siege, also the eve of the Muslim celebration of the end of Ramadan, or Eid’l Fitr.
“Kasama kami sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim sa pagdiriwang ng Eid’l Fitr,” says Liberal Party president Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
“Kakaiba ang pagdiriwang ngayong taon, may lockdown at paghihigpit dahil sa sakit na COVID-19. Pinatindi nito ang hirap na dinadanas nila mula pa 2017. Naaalala pa natin ang mga nasirang buhay at kabuhayan ng mga kapatid nating Muslim. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa nila naramdaman ang rehab ng gobyerno,” he adds.
There are 422 families living in nine evacuation centers and community-based centers in Marawi, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says in a Mindanao briefer citing December data.
“More than 10,000 families are home-based or staying with host communities according to the Task Force Bangon Marawi. Validation continues in informal ECs and community-based centers.”
The city government of Marawi and Task Force Bangon Marawi held the 16th “Kawiyagan” to provide services, programs and livelihood assistance to residents of the city.
“The Kawiyagan, a Maranao term which means livelihood, is a regular activity spearheaded by the City Government of Marawi and Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), which aims to provide much-needed humanitarian and livelihood assistance to those affected by the 2017 siege,” the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process says.
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