VP appeals for unity in facing Marawi crisis

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BALO-I, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews/27 June) — Filipinos should show unity in facing the crisis caused by the siege in Marawi City and contribute everything they can to resolve it, Vice President Leni Robredo said in a visit to the evacuees here on Monday.

“Dapat more than at any other time sa ating bansa, ngayon dapat tayong magpakita na nagkakaisa tayo (More than at any time in our country, now is the time for us to show that we are united),” Robredo said.

Tents have been put up in an evacuation center for Marawi City evacuees at the Al Markazie Islamic Institute in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte on June 26, 2017. MindaNews photo by Manman Dejeto

She said she believes the government is doing everything but that there’s no telling when the siege will end.

“We can only hope that this will end soon. Because that is the question that all the evacuees have been asking us. When can we go back to Marawi? When can we go back to our respective homes? It is a question that we cannot answer definitely,” she said.

She said that whenever she would ask evacuees about their conditions they would ask back “kailan ba ito matatapos? (when will this end)”.

Asked if it’s possible to go beyond a military objective through a political solution, Robredo said the government must push the “peace process for everyone”.

But the vice president clarified that she did not mean including the Maute Group in the process.

Robredo said that while the way the administration has been handling the threat of terrorism may not be perfect, everyone must cooperate “rather than criticize tayo nang mag-criticize”.

“Magtulungan na lang tayo kasi maraming pangangailangang talagang kailangan sagutin (Let’s just work together because there are plenty of needs that must be addressed),” she said.

The Marawi siege started when the ISIS-inspired Maute Group occupied portions of the city on May 23.

The group is said to have linked up with the Abu Sayyaf, which is based in Basilan and Sulu and thrives on kidnap-for-ransom activities. (MindaNews)

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