CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 5 Dec) – Saying that it would create animosity and hostility, the provincial government of Lanao del Sur added its voice to the growing opposition to the establishment of a new military camp in Marawi City.
In a resolution passed last Monday, the Lanao del Sur provincial board rejected the military’s plan to set up a new camp on top of the old City Hall in Marawi.
“A new military camp may create animosity towards the military, offend cultural sensitivities and transgress private rights,” the board resolution said.
Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. also signed the resolution of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Adiong and the provincial board asked President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider the planned establishment of a new camp “or at least modify it.”
Task Force Bangon Marawi chair Eduardo del Rosario said the military plans to set up a ten-hectare camp on the east side of Marawi on top of the old City Hall.
Del Rosario said the new camp, which will house an Army battalion, will provide an additional security for Marawi City to prevent a repetition of the 2017 siege when hundreds of Maute-ISIS militants were able to control the city for five months.
“There will be now two camps in Marawi. The new camp will guard the east side while the old camp where the 103rd Infantry Brigade is located will be on the west side,” Del Rosario told reporters in Cagayan de Oro last week.
Del Rosario said a technical panel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines is now reviewing the feasibility of the new camp.
He said it would be up to the panel to approve or reject the new military camp.
Marawi residents have criticized the establishment of the new camp saying that the money that would be spent for it should be given to affected residents who have yet to return to the former Main Battle Area (MBA).
Maranao groups have gathered more than 100,000 signatures from residents who signified they are against the establishment of a new camp.
Aside from the Lanao del Sur Sangguniang Panlalawigan, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and the Marawi City government also passed resolutions opposing the military camp. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)