Marawi Bakwits Say No To Martial Law Extension

About a hundred evacuees from Marawi City led by Tindeg Ranao will converge in Iligan City today calling for a stop to military airstrikes and the lifting of the declaration of Martial Law - a message they hope President Rodrigo Duterte will heed as Congress convenes to discuss the president’s request for an extension of Martial Law.

Tindeg Ranao is a group formed by Marawi City evacuees as a response to the need to unite evacuees that call for justice to victims of human rights violations, call for a stop to military airstrikes that resulted to the destruction of their communities, and a call to lift Martial Law declaration that resulted to military abuses. Tindeg Ranao also call for a pro-people and comprehensive rehabilitation program, fearing that the current plan dubbed as Bangon Marawi does not guarantee their immediate return to their communities as talks of private investments for reconstruction became primary concern in the rehabilitation.

Tindeg Ranao call for justice for those who become victims of human rights violations and abuses of the military as a result of the declaration of Martial Law – for those who were forcibly displaced due to aerial bombardment and their homes destroyed, those who were killed inside Marawi City due to indiscriminate bombing and firing, those who were hit and wounded by bomb shrapnel and snipers’ bullet, those who died in evacuation centers due to illness and lack of services, those who were illegally arrested and harassed in military checkpoints, those whose livelihood were destroyed because of aerial bombardment and women evacuees who were harassed and intimidated by the rape jokes of military during searches in their houses and in checkpoints.

Tindeg Ranao also express their hope and need to immediately return to their communities inside Marawi City to salvage what was left of their properties due to reports that police and military authorities have raided their homes and taken their belongings during clearing operations. March rallies have been initiated by some civil society groups, including a march towards Marawi City and Iligan City, however, military and local government officials will not allow any rallies and even refrain evacuees from joining citing not only security but also depriving them of services should they join rallies.

Two months after President Duterte declared Martial Law in Mindanao as a result of the siege by Dawlah Islamiya and other ISIS-inspired groups in Marawi City on May 23 and a succeeding military airstrike to flush out terrorists on May 26 , around 400,000 residents of Marawi City and neighboring towns in Lanao del Sur have been displaced in different parts of the country. Reports of death of civilians due to indiscriminate aerial bombardment have risen to 39 individuals by government reports, however some Maranao civil society groups claim that there are more. Most of the evacuees are cramped in evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur, Iligan City and Lanao del Norte resulting to humanitarian crisis as the numbers of reported death and sickness in evacuation centers continue to rise – Department of Health reported at least 40 deaths as of July 12. Evacuees complain of inefficient leading to lack of social services such as medical and even the needed psychosocial intervention due to trauma experienced by evacuees due to the aerial bombardment and the attack of ISIS-inspired groups.

Tindeg Ranao will also join the Mindanao-wide rally in Iligan City on July 24 as President Duterte will deliver his Second State of the Nation Address. They will also participate in the National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission (NIHM) on July 26-29 in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur.

 

PRESS RELEASE 22 July 2017

Reference: Aida Ibrahim (CP# +639352510619)

Tindeg Ranao convenor