STATEMENT of the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch: No mention of Marawi in 5th SONA

The President elucidated plans for national recovery and resilience that he wants to pursue for all Filipinos. But what about the Maranao who have been waiting for three fruitless years—way before the pandemic and its consequent economic crisis?

He proposed to launch a more vigorous Balik-Probinsya program and the creation of new economic zones. Well how about a Balik-Marawi program to deter deaths and disease in the refugee camps and to stem the rise of violent extremists that have tapped into local discontent?

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

He made a plea to Congress to prioritize the recovery of the economy through financial subsidies, easier loans, and rental reforms.

Well what about the promised yet much delayed compensation to stimulate the economy in an area ravaged by war and destitution. When will you direct Congress to prioritize the Marawi Compensation Bill?

We are one with all Filipinos in desiring a quicker release from the health and economic crisis we all face. But how can we trust your word or believe your promises when you have not honoured your promises to us?

(Marawi Conflict Reconstruction Watch (MRCW) is an independent multistakeholder dialogue group of people that harnesses skills and professions to help in the Marawi reconstruction process and channels wider public attention and participation in its monitoring. MRCW members are from Marawi and most of us are Maranao, no one person or leader speaks on our behalf, each step we take is a collective one.)