In the third interfaith humanitarian mission led by Kalinaw Mindanao, international delegates have affirmed reports from Marawi evacuees and added 56 initial cases of human rights violations perpetrated by the Philippine military in the course of almost five months of military operations in Marawi.
The two-day mission was able to document at least 56 initial cases of indiscriminate firing (5 cases), illegal arrest (6), threat, harassment and intimidation (16), destruction of property (48), violation of domicile (8) and divestment of property or looting (9). These add to the reported more than 309 cases in the previous missions.
At least 10 families have reported that more than P56 million worth of their properties were destroyed as the government intensified the military airstrikes against the Maute group and other ISIS-inspired groups in Marawi City. Reports of looted properties and military using their houses as camps also abound now that some families were able to inspect their homes.
One family complained that the military forced them to pay at least 3,000 to allow entry to their community in Bgy. Kilala to check on their properties. Despite the payment, soldiers still refused to allow them entry. When they asked for the payment to be returned, soldiers gave them a sack of rice instead, along with a TV and gas stove, items also allegedly looted by the military.
On May 30, a family was indiscriminately fired at by the military when their vehicles were flagged down at a checkpoint in Bgy. Bangon. More than 20 armed elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines accosted the family who, according to the military, were under suspicion of being a Maute members. All 5 of the victims were asked to drop to the ground, after which soldiers indiscriminately fired at them. The victims included two children and a young nephew.
They were then brought to the National Power Corporation (NPC) where they were interrogated and detained for four hours. When they were eventually released, the military said their two cars will remain in the custody of the AFP. Inside the car were their personal belongings. The car was returned after 2 months, but their personal belongings (including cash, jewelry and clothing) were now missing and stolen.
Most of the evacuees interviewed came from areas categorized as "ground zero" by the military, and thus were still off-limits despite Marawi’s “liberation”. The areas include Lumbac Marinaut, Marinaut East, Lilod Madaya, Lumbac Madaya, Tolali and Bgy. Kilala.
The mission served more than 350 in the relief mission to evacuation centers in Iligan City (Tambacan, Baraas, Lomondot) and Lanao del Sur (Saguiaran and Pantao Raya); served 200 patients in the medical mission and several children for the psychosocial intervention and feeding.
International delegates also condemned the US military's participation in Marawi City and the continuing military aid to the Duterte government for the US War on Terror as it affects mostly Moro civilians instead of terrorists. The mission underscored the need to indemnify the victims of the Marawi crisis on the basis of the damage on their properties.
The delegates also hit the Trump and the Duterte governments' crackdown on the international peace activists who joined the Ban Trump protests in Manila and the harassment of their fellow international activists who were part of the solidarity mission with plantation workers in Opol, Misamis Oriental.#
18 November 2017
Reference: Jerome Succor Aba (+639168448508)