Maute jokes lighten mood in shelters
Trying to make light of the raging battle in Marawi City, people here have been swapping jokes on social media, in text messages, or on the streets, by claiming to be a Maute.
“Ako Mauteglaba (I’m the one doing the laundry),” read one text message.
Another text message said: “Ako Mautegtuklod (I’m the one pushing).”
Jokes about being a Maute also figured in conversations on the streets, though these may not be politically correct in some instances.
“Maut te (She’s ugly),” one guy said when asked if the girl who passed by was pretty.
The jokes have also caught on with some evacuees, who would crack “Maute man mi, Sir. Mautegbakwit (We’re Maute, Sir. We’re the ones who fled).” This would elicit laughter from people around them.
The Maute Group, a band of terrorists who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, has laid siege to Marawi City.
Cracking jokes is their way of combating stress, said Kamar Suminod, who fled fighting in Marawi and sought refuge in an evacuation center here.
Not at checkpoints
“It’s difficult to be serious at all times, Sir. You see our situation and we have to lighten up the mood once in a while,” Suminod said, blowing a puff of cigarette smoke.
While some tend to make light of everything, such jokes should not be made in the presence of soldiers manning military checkpoints, lest these would be misconstrued, according to a military official.
Security serious concern
“We consider security to be serious and things like these could be misconstrued. We have to refrain from doing it when at checkpoints,” said the official, who asked not to be named for lack of authority to comment on the matter.
Still, security remains a serious concern for officials here. Iligan Mayor Celso Regencia scrapped some of the scheduled activities in last week’s celebration of the city’s 67th Charter Day, including the much anticipated Search for Mr. Iligan. Only the commemoration program pushed through.
“It was unlike the previous year. This year’s celebration passed without fanfare,” observed fruit vendor Melba Actub.
Curfew also remains in effect all over the city from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“We also have to check every inch of vehicles coming in and those who have no IDs would be invited for questioning. Yes, we’re imposing a ‘no ID, no entry’ policy,” said Senior Supt. Leony Ga, city police director.
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