GRP strongman Duterte declared Marawi City “liberated from the terrorist influence” the day after the AFP claimed to have killed Isnilon Hapilon of the Abu Sayyaf and Omar Maute last October 17.
The Moro people, especially the Maranaos of Marawi, however, are not celebrating. They are, at best, only relieved that the AFP’s 147-day siege of Marawi City is over and that they can finally return to their homes. But can they?
After more than five months of aerial bombardment, Marawi has been flattened. People’s homes, private property and public infrastructure and utilities are completely destroyed. Their hard-earned properties have been plundered. They are being prevented to return home, not until the military has bulldozed everything before anyone can make an independent inquiry and accounting of the siege.
Worst of all, it is turning out that Marawi is no longer theirs. Marawi City itself is now the war booty of the AFP and the US. They are the biggest victors. And the Moro people, the people of Marawi, the biggest losers. They no longer have control of Marawi. It is the military and defense establishment and their US overlords which control Marawi.
Close to 500,000 people from Marawi and nearby towns are asking the question—will they be able to return to their homes and communities? Until now, they have received no categorical answer from the Task Force Bangon Marawi, the government committee managing so-called “rehabilitation” of Marawi.
Through the force of arms, military and defense officials in the Task Force have claimed the prerogative of dividing Marawi according to their design. They are invoking a 1953 presidential decree which declares 6,000 hectares of Marawi’s 8,775 hectares as a military reservation. This also covers parts of Marantao, Piagapo, Saguiran and other parts of Lake Lanao. The statement by military officials that they will not claim more land than they will need is a non-assurance.
Tens of thousands of Marawi residents are now in peril of not being able to return to their homes which are in areas being claimed as public land. The Duterte regime is insulting ...
Paulit-ulit ang banta ng nagtitigas-tigasang pasistang si Rodrigo Duterte na magtatatag siya ng diktadura. Kamakailan, idineklara niyang magtatayo siya ng “isang rebolusyonaryong gubyerno sa nalalabing panahon sa poder” upang supilin ang lahat ng lumalaban at angkinin ang kapangyarihang alisin ang sinuman sa gubyerno at iupo ang yaon lamang susunod sa …
Ulos Cultural Folio