Marawi mayor sees no need to sue gov’t in international court
MARAWI CITY — The plan of a Maranao group to sue the government for damages over the Marawi crisis will not be necessary because compensation for the victims is among the things being considered, Mayor Majul Gandamra said on Wednesday.
“One of our advocacies is the rehabilitation and rebuilding of not just public infrastructure but also private properties damaged in the war. Based on our talk with Task Force Bangon Marawi, they are open to the idea of compensating the victims,” Gandamra told the Inquirer.
Earlier, Maranao lawyer Firdausi Abbas said city residents were considering filing a P120-billion damage suit against the military and the national government in the international court at The Hague.
Help for the displaced
He said the residents were also poised to ask Congress to form a task force that would attend to the needs of families displaced by nearly five months of fighting between government security forces and Islamic State-inspired terrorists in the city.
“The filing of a case in any court is not really necessary,” Gandamra said, adding that “it would preempt the government’s initiative in rebuilding the city.”
He said what was needed was cooperation to make sure the sufferings of the displaced residents were eased.
Asked about reports of alleged human rights violations being shared on social media, Gandamra said he had no personal knowledge of any particular case. “Personally, nobody approached me and complained about alleged human rights violations.”
Gandamra said people who might have suffered abuses in the hands of soldiers could come to his office for documentation of the abuses.
“I urge those people who were allegedly victims of human rights violations to come and provide evidence,” Gandamra said.
He said hard evidence was needed for the complaint to prosper in any judicial body.
“Evidence is very important. Any complaint should be supported by hard evidence. It is difficult to just make accusations of human rights violations or infractions without any proof because this would just become hearsay. You know, it’s very easy to make a claim but proving it is another thing,” Gandamra added.
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