OUR MARAWI: I am sorry, too

Downtown Marawi City one sunny afternoon circa 2004, before all the devastation due to the fires and the aerial bombings no thanks to the still ongoing skirmishes between government forces and the Maute Group that caused the evacuation of most of the city’s population. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Sir, you had repeatedly expressed apologies to Marawi City residents. Allow me to take my democracy and express my apologies, too.

  1. I am very sorry, Mayor, that you have to be the one to apologize for the extremists’ attack, the military response and the resulting deaths, destruction and displacement in the community.
  2. I am sorry that as a resident of Marawi, I was away, silent and complacent with the years-long, tell tale signs of extremism taking a hold of the city and especially of its young.
  3. I am sorry for my absentmindedness and neglect in not being able to express concerns consistently, nor help report or expose corruption, narcotics and narco-politics in the city.
  4. I am deeply sorry that I was dismissive and failed to meaningfully support and involve myself with efforts by the Ulamahs to educate and warn communities of the scourge of extremism.
  5. I am sorry to have been cold, distant and unbelieving to the voices of Moro ‘social scientists’ in the academe, government and NGOs.

I have this distaste and prejudice to ‘almost all intelligent talks, for career advancement sake’ impression I have of them.

All puna nang puna. The lot of articulate, chronic complainers and perennial non-supporters of true change.

You, Sir, represent change. We voted for you for the changes you espouse and yet, our intellectuals met these unfairly with raised eyebrows. Not trusting the majority decision. Waiting for you to fail. That is mine. My impression of them.

Sorry po, naumay ako sa mga akala kong maghahain sana ng tulong para lumakas pa ang bansang ito. Maling akala.

  1. I am sorry that I completely lost my trust in the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). When it was evident that the feudal leadership failed to make itself relevant, I turned deaf, blind and mute.You, Sir, kept your faith in them.Pero, wala pa rin po, ano?
  2. Mayor, I am sorry that I got frustrated and disillusioned despite the efforts of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front ( MILF) with the MNLF-Jikiri/Sema group.Sobrang tagal, mahina ang dissemination ng developments. Wala kaming easy access to information.
  3. I am truly sorry that despite the glaring need and challenge to unify, we, the Moro are so in conflict with and amongst ourselves, interests and future.Naiisip ko, bakit kaya we thrive in our ‘separateness’? On being distrustful and suspicious? Moro with brilliant minds abound, riches in land and seas, beautiful culture and a history dyed with blood of martyrs. Blessings that are more than enough to stand proud and side by side to help build a nation. Still, the insistence to coddle the differences and not fully support what is common for the common good.It is very, very sad. It makes one angry, frustrated and demotivated.
  4. I am sorry that we are not full participants to nation building. A lot are opportunists, corrupt and cry-babies. Despite some opportunities (Okey, kulang pero,meron), we cry non-inclusion. Yong kukunti that trickles to our regions are being siphoned off by leaders. And yet, we do not openly and consistently criticize or report/expose such bad governance. Sadly, most are too polite, afraid and forgiving. Maraming pabaya. Ayaw ma involve.Sa iba, ang tapang tapang ng Moro, pero sa kapwa Moro, kahit mali na ginagawa, we excuse. Kasi, ka-pamilya, ka-lugar. Kasi kahihiyan namin.Misplaced loyalties.
  5. I am sorry that the situation in Marawi robs you of the little rest that you so much deserve.
    If only I could take a day to carry your sadness, hurts, grief and misgivings, I would gladly do so.

Mr. President, Sir, I have learned my lessons and shall be a better daughter, citizen and defender of this country. You have shown us love of country and have taught us very well on owning tough decisions. Thank you very much po.

(Rolaiza Roniella Santos Singayao describes herself as “a Filipino physician who loves her country.” Dr. Singayao is a Tausog-Manobo by lineage “but I am Maranao, was born and raised in Marawi.”  She finished medicine in Davao City and is presently based in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.  The author posted this on her Facebook page. She granted permission to MindaNews to publish this)