STATEMENT: Suara Bangsamoro on the 1st anniversary of the ‘liberation’ of Marawi City

Statement of Suara Bangsamoro, National Executive Council(NEC)
16 October 018

Homelessness and landlessness, the result of President Dutertes liberation of Marawi City

A year after President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Marawi Citys liberation from the siege mounted by Maute and other ISIS-inspired groups, more than 27,000 displaced Marawi City residents continue to suffer homelessness and landlessness due to governments rehabilitation plan that prioritized the construction of a military camp and an economic zone.

Suara Bangsamoro supports the protest rally being held today by a group of displaced Meranaw residents who are until today barred by the government from returning to their communities citing various reasons including clearing operations and delays in groundbreaking ceremonies.

Suara Bangsamoro believes that the demands of protesting displaced Meranaw residents led by the Bangsamoro National Movement for Peace and Development and the Moro Consensus Group are just: immediate start of the reconstruction of their houses and not build more temporary shelters as a way to permanently prevent them from reclaiming their houses and properties in the ground zero, to construct their own houses if the government will not provide resources, to be part of the rehabilitation plan.

Task Force Bangon Marawi continues to exclude the displaced Meranaw residents from its rehabilitation plan of the 27 barangays identified as ground zero or the most affected areas (MAA), leaving most of them living in temporary shelters lacking basic services due to dwindling relief services after President Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City. On the other hand, foreign and local business enterprises interests are prioritized in the rehabilitation and accommodating various schemes to favor those who will invest in the reconstruction of Marawi City into a military and economic zone.

With the destruction of their livelihood due to the incessant aerial bombardment of the ground zero areas in Marawi City, the continuing displacement makes it hard for the displaced residents to provide for their families. Adding to this burden is the rising food inflation in the country that makes it impossible for them to buy basic commodities without a steady income. Inflation in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is recorded the highest in Mindanao at 8.1% on August this year.

Suara Bangsamoro is one with the displaced Meranaw residents in holding the government accountable for most of the destruction of Marawi City due to its incessant aerial bombardment as a response to the Maute group siege. As a result of last years five months military operation against Maute and other ISIS-inspired groups who mounted a siege of Marawi City last year, at least 37 mosques, 44 madrasah facilities and 22 schools were destroyed due to aerial bombardment. At least three thousand cases of houses looted, mostly by the military who were left inside the ground zero areas.

We are one in the clamor of the displaced Meranaw residents for justice to the 1,000 who were killed due to the military operations, to the innocent civilians who were arrested, tortured into admitting they are Maute members and sympathizers, and continue to be detained due to trumped-up charges, and to all those whose lives were made vulnerable to killings, arrests and police and military abuses due to the blanket authority given by President Duterte through his declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao.

We support the human rights violation complaint filed by Sultan Abdul Hamidullah Atar of the Ranaw Multisectoral Movement at various human rights organization and agencies including the United Nations and the International Criminal Court in September together with other victims of human rights violations that testified at the International Peoples Tribunal (IPT) last September 18-19 in Brussels, Belgium.

We enjoin the rest of the Moro people and the rest of Filipino people to continue to expose the human rights violations brought about by President Dutertes declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao and fight his fascist and tyrannical rule.#