Robin Padilla leads civic movement for Marawi recovery: 'The battle has just begun'
MANILA, Philippines – “Tapos na ang karahasan, pero ang mas matinding usapin ay ang trauma na iniwan sa mga tao. Tayo ang sundalo sa digmaang ito.”
(The battle is over, the more pressing issue now is the trauma that the armed conflict brought to the people. We are the soldiers in this battle.)
This is the message that actor and peace advocate Robin Padilla said during the launch of Tindig Marawi in Manila on Thursday, October 26.
Tindig Marawi is a movement that aims to gather support from individuals, corporations, and organizations for the rebuilding and recovery efforts in conflict-devastated Marawi City.
At least 153 days into the war, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the liberation of the city from the forces of the rebel and ISIS-linked terrorists.
He said, however, that the war is far from over.
The five-month heavy clashes between government troops and local terrorists have destroyed residential and ancestral buildings in Marawi City. Many of the residents who have sought refuge in nearby areas lost their livelihood and have no homes to return to.
"Nakita ko po ang pinsala na dinala ng Marawi siege. Napakarami po nating kapatid na Maranao af Kristyano sa Marawi ang nawalan ng mahal sa buhay, nawalan ng bahay, at nawalan ng hanapbuhay," Padilla said.
(I've seen the devastation caused by the Marawi siege. Many of our Maranao and Christian brothers and sisters in Marawi lost their loved ones, homes, and their livelihood.)
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 77,170 families or 353,921 persons have been displaced by the armed conflict in Marawi City as of October 22.
The challenge now, according to Padilla, is to help rebuild the lives of the people affected by the conflict.
“Sana ang manaig ay ang pagka-Pilipino natin hindi yung division, paghihiwalay, at sobrang pulitika,” Padilla said. (I hope the Filipino spirit will prevail, and not division, disunity, and political differences.)
Power of technology
With the immensity of the recovery work that needs to be done, Padilla emphasized the importance of collaboration between and among sectors. This is also the reason why Tindig Marawi organizers partnered with private sectors like Kasama Ko, Lamudi, and Rappler.
Padilla said that the groups they have partnered with are all using the power of technology. This is an important element, according to the peace advocate, because the ISIS harnessed the tool to their advantage. (READ: How to fight ISIS on social media)
"Kaya walang mas matinding counterpunch dito kung hindi ang technology. Kung ano yung ginagamit ng kalaban natin, yun din ang gamitin natin. Sigurado akong mas magaling ang mga taong ito, dahil ang mga puso nila ay malilinis," he said.
(There is no better counterpunch than to use technology. Whatever our enemies are using, let us harness that as well. I am sure that we are better than them because our hearts and intentions are pure.)
How to help
There are many ways for individuals help the Tindig Marawi movement.
Donations can be given through the Liwanag ng Kapayapaan Foundation, Inc. Here are the details:
- Checking account number: 437-7437906480
- Metrobank Fairview Regalado
Kasama Ko, on the other hand, will assist Tindig Marawi through the following activities:
- Assist Maranaos to find means to regain their livelihod
- Facilitate organic farming and livelihood business training
- Kickstart the Tindig Marawi livelihood fund.
People can donate through the Tindig Marawi livelihood fund by signing up with Kasama Ko:
- Through their website: kasamako.com
- Through SMS by sending KKK to 29290155