16 November 2017, Cagayan de Oro City—In the third interfaith humanitarian mission to Marawi led by Kalinaw Mindanao, people's organizations from the US, Australia and various Asian countries responded to the call to bring in relief and medical support, and to document reports of human rights violations and the situation of Meranaw evacuees who has returned to the Islamic City of Marawi.
Nearly five months after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte declared Martial Law in Mindanao and an all-out war in Marawi that displaced more than 400,000 residents and brought heavy damages to lives and properties due to military airstrikes and encounter with the ISIS-inspired groups, he finally declared the liberation of Marawi which signalled the return of evacuees and the start of the city's rehabilitation.
However, not nearly half of evacuees have returned to their homes due to financial constraints and implementation of an ID system that restricts their passage to Marawi. For those who did, they were devastated at how their homes were destroyed by military airstrikes and looted by both the ISIS-inspired groups and the Philippine military.
The humanitarian delegation is concerned at the initial rehabilitation programs presented by the Philippine government that favor foreign and local investors and loaded with foreign loans. With two international lending companies—World Bank and the Asian Development Bank—taking the lead in planning the city's reconstruction, combined with President Duterte's Build Build Build program that promotes the Private Public Partnership (PPP) relations, rehabilitation efforts are directed towards gaining profit from the war and devastation rather than to bring back Marawi residents.
At the ASEAN and East Asian Summit, East Asia governments have lauded the Presidents in its response to the Marawi siege and firmed up more strict security measures to confront terrorism. This raises alarm at how the victims of human rights violations in Marawi and whole of Mindanao due to the military airstrikes and Martiall Law declaration will find justice.
The International Interfaith Humanitarian Misison will take place on November 15-17 in Iligan City and Lanao del Sur with the aim to serve at least 2,000 IDPs, help empower and organize survivors and victims of internal displacements and all-out war in Marawi, document and collate the human rights situation in Marawi, express interfaith solidarity and unity with IDPs and other victims of human rights violations, and formulate recommendations on how to address the rehabilitation of communities impacted by all-out war in Marawi.#
16 November 2017
Reference: Jerome Succor Aba
Spokesperson, Kalinaw Mindanao
[PHOTO above: From left to right, Jerome Succor Aba of Sandugo, Amirah Lidasan of Suara Bangsamoro, Peter Murphy of International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, Bernadette Ellorin of BAYAN - USA, Haron Abato and Aida Ibrahim of Tindeg Ranao and Jigs Clamor of Karapatan National]