OUR MARAWI:  We, the People of Marawi, want to go home

(Message of Member of Parliament Marjanie S. M. Mimbantas on the 3rd Anniversary of the Marawi Siege, 23 May 2020)

It has been three years since Meranaos of Marawi were forced to leave their homes. It has been three LONG years and their homes are still in ruins, and they are still displaced. There is no more trace of their homes after everything was rubbed out and leveled to earth.

The People of Marawi have shown optimism and resilience during these uncertain years. Some were able to recover economically, albeit slowly, and found livelihoods outside the City. But most still struggle to meet their day-to-day needs. Most still don’t have roofs over their heads.

Buildings lay in ruins after the five-month battle to retake Marawi City from ISIS-inspired terrorists. Photo taken 24 October 2017. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

Three years it has been, and our People continue to utter their firm desire to return to their homes. But it seems like the government willingly turns deaf ears despite the loud cries of these people to let them go home and rebuild their houses in their own land.

With rehabilitation taking this long, we can only ask: what has the government done in the past three years? Why are we still not allowed to return? Why is the government unable to facilitate our return? Where are the funds allotted for the rehabilitation? Again, we can only ask questions. And just as it has been in the past three years, we do not get concrete answers.

It is about time that the national government consider the reorganization of the team leading the rehabilitation of Marawi. It is the right time to place someone who knows the sentiments and needs of the IDPs to lead the team—someone who is an IDP. This can only bring good results.

Now that we are facing another crisis, the People of Marawi can only hope that when this faceless enemy is gone, the rehabilitation and fast recovery of our City will be the top priority of the government.

WE, the People of Marawi, want to go home. We want to experience the next Ramadhan in our homes—in OUR Marawi City