Marawi rehabilitation

End our ‘agonizing wait’: Maranaos ask Senate to pass Marawi compensation bill

Bobby Lagsa
End our ‘agonizing wait’: Maranaos ask Senate to pass Marawi compensation bill

NEW PROJECTS. Groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Sarimanok Sports Stadium and Convention Center inside Marawi's most affected area in May 2021, four years after the Marawi siege

Photo courtesy of Task Force Bangon Marawi Facebook page

'We hope our dear senators will heed our call and expedite the passage of a Marawi compensation bill as a sign of sincerity and willingness to help us,' says a multi-stakeholder group

Officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) on Tuesday, September 7,  called on the Senate to speed up its work on its version of the Marawi compensation bill, a day after the House of Representatives passed its version of the measure.

The proposal seeks government payment for residents of predominantly Muslim Marawi City who lost their homes and livelihood as a result of the 2017 fightings between government troops and the ISIS-inspired Maute group.

The five-month battle destroyed 24 Marawi villages and displaced over 100,000 Maranaos.

BARMM member of parliament Zia Alonto Adiong said he and other officials hoped the House approval of House Bill No. 9925 on Monday, September 6, would encourage the Senate to also work towards passing its version of the proposed measure.

“We hope that the final version will truly reflect the most pressing concerns of the people of Marawi and respond to their needs with urgency, with full knowledge and appreciation of the struggle of the Meranao people,” Adiong said. (READ: Displaced Maranaos to government: ‘Compensate us’)

“The implementation of the resulting law must not suffer from delays, and its rightful beneficiaries must not suffer from an agonizing wait, having seen the fate of so many human rights victims who are yet to receive compensation for their loss, let alone a semblance of justice for their pain and suffering,” he added.

The Senate special committee on the Marawi rehabilitation is still working on the approval of Senate Bill No. 1395.

Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. hailed the House approval of the bill and commended the lawmakers who made this possible.

“It has been the clamor of the people of Lanao del Sur, specifically those affected by the Marawi siege, to have the Marawi compensation cill passed,” Adiong said.

Adiong said Maranaos were “very resilient because of our faith in Allah, the Almighty, and with just a little bit of a push, the process of rebuilding becomes easier for us. The passage of the Marawi compensation bill is the push we have all been waiting for. Alhamdulillah.” 

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Civil society organization Moro Consensus Group chairman Drieza Lininding said his group was grateful for the passage of the House bill, and especially to the 197 representatives who voted for it. 

“We were not left alone, and we are hopeful that the Senate will also fast-track the passage of its version,” Lininding said. 

In a statement, the independent multi-stakeholder dialogue group Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW) called the House passage of the bill a “long-needed and decisive step towards recognizing the victims of the war in Marawi who deserve just compensation.”   

“As we count down to the fifth year since the war, we hope our dear senators will heed our call and expedite the passage of a Marawi compensation bill as a sign of sincerity and willingness to help us, victims of war, in this long process of recovery,” said the group.

The group also appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to help even as they reminded him of his 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) promise that “Marawi will rise again as a prosperous city.”  

“The Maranaos are Filipinos, too. We deserve the same justice and equal priority as the rest of our countrymen,” it added.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story referred to Maureen Anthea Lacuesta as a member of MRCW. She is with International Alert, which serves as the secretariat of MRCW.

End our ‘agonizing wait’: Maranaos ask Senate to pass Marawi compensation bill

Rappler.com

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