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CSO LEADERS RECALLS EXPERIENCES ON MARAWI CRISIS

Posted on 04 January 2018 by cbcs_mike

Twenty eight leaders of Moro civil society organizations (CSOs) converged in an activity called “Listening Process” conducted by the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) in an aim to validate, document and fuse the multi-dimensional issues that came out after the infamous Marawi City Siege, that resulted in a tremendous destructions both physical and emotional aspects. The activity was held in Iligan City on December 18, 2017.

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Guiamel Alim in his welcome and overview of the event stressed that: “the process may sound to some as new process but a timely and long neglected process” especially on the case of the Bangsamoro who had been on armed-conflict for so long. He stressed that the process is a data-gathering and documentation that allows a “free-flowing story telling” without rebuttal.

He emphasized that the Marawi victims of crisis are lucky enough as the talks of “reconstruction, rehabilitations and recovery programs” had been talk of the town and becomes flavour of the day not only by the Meranaws but even on national scene. The usual reconstructions and recovery programs deals on: (1) Buiding economy and businesses (2) Establish schools (3) Rebuild hospitals, infrastructures (4) New laws, [parliament ... federalisms]. However, he quipped: “can the physical recovery fix the structural roots of the Marawi crisis and Bangsamoro problem as whole?” This is the main focus of the activity: “that the result will be used as an instrument in correcting historical injustices” against the Bangsamoro and identify both short term and long term solutions to recurring problems.

The participants different but identical personal experiences on the Marawi catastrophe ranging from deaths of close kins, caring of olds and the sickly during the sudden eruption of the unexpected war, destructions of houses and lost of properties and valuables. The narrations were usually interrupted with sobs as signs of deep traumatic effects of the war that remains in the heart of every victim.
On the issue of who’s to be blamed in the disastrous event, the participants expressed different outlooks as some blames the Maute-ISIS connections, some to blame the Local Government units (LGUs), the national government and the military. Other have it that Marawi incident is a government “pre-meditated” plans because of the prior threats were allowed to thrive. However, they all ended in their narration as one, that the matter was a shared responsibility including themselves and the whole people of Marawi City and its surrounding communities.

For one the Maute-ISIS connection had been in their midst for several years starting in Butig and Piagapo municipalities including the Marawi City occupation were public knowledge. The matter was known to the community peoples, the LGUs up to national level particularly Department of National Defence but no concrete actions were taken. The reason why Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana once revealed that there was miscalculation and underestimation of the capacity of the Maute-ISIS to do the threat. The narrators all admitted that there was a top-to-bottom neglect of a forthcoming danger at that time.

Majority of the narrators pointed out that the long term solutions to the problem is to unite in supporting the passage of the BTC drafted Bangsamoro Basic law, that will redound to self-reformation, advancing the Bagsamoro identity to include going back to Islamic systems of life. In so doing, using Marawi incident as hard lessons learned, if not the catastrophe will just be a vicious-cycle not only in Marawi City but in all other Bangsamoro areas.

Johary Ditucalan Ayo
CBCS Area Coordinator for Lanao

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