Marawi folk to Marcos: Organize compensation body | Inquirer News
5th anniversary of liberation from siege

Marawi folk to Marcos: Organize compensation body

/ 04:35 AM October 18, 2022
Maranaos displaced by the 2017 Marawi siege stage rally. STORY: Marawi folk to Marcos: Organize compensation body

Maranaos who were displaced during the 2017 Marawi siege and members of civil society groups staged a rally on May 23, 2022, to call on the government to speed up the release of compensation so they can rebuild their homes. (File photo by DIVINA M. SUSON / Inquirer Mindanao)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Misamis Oriental, Philippines — Maranao leaders and displaced residents of battle-ravaged Marawi City are urging President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to immediately organize the Marawi Compensation Board (MCB) so that the process of paying for lost properties during the five-month war in 2017 could begin.

The call came just as Marawi was commemorating the anniversary of the city’s liberation by state forces from the five-month siege staged by the Islamic State-affiliated Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups on May 23, 2017.


On Monday, Oct. 17, the fifth year after the terrorists were flushed out of the city, the military and police honored the 168 government security forces who perished in the war.

“We sympathize with soldiers and police officers who were killed during the siege,” said Maranao activist Drieza Lininding, chair of the Moro Consensus Group.


Lininding, however, expressed hope that the death of civilians would also be given closure, noting that many of them are still unidentified as evidenced by the unmarked graves in the city.

‘Cannot subsist on scraps’

However, the clamor of most Meranaos was to get compensated and regain the lands they lost during the war.

“We are thankful for all the assistance and support that the people of Marawi City have received through the years, but it is not enough for us to subsist on scraps and endure life’s difficulties when we know that we can build a better future together for our people,” said Lanao del Sur Rep. Zia Alonto-Adiong on Monday.

Alonto-Adiong’s family was among those displaced by the war and has yet to return to their homes.

“Today, many Meranaos, including my family, are yet to return to Marawi City. Unable to rebuild on the land of our ancestors, our communities remain displaced as we collectively carry the weight of our people’s hopes and longing for home,” said Alonto-Adiong.

Under Republic Act No. 11696, or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act, the government commits to pay families who lost their homes and personal properties to the armed conflict spawned by the attempt of Islamic State terrorists to occupy the city.

It will also compensate owners of private properties taken by the government in the course of rebuilding the city’s public infrastructure. The fair market value of land and lost personal properties and the replacement cost of destroyed structures are the general bases for providing compensation, which will be tax-free.


Relatives of those who died in the siege are also entitled to compensation.

The law was signed by then-President Rodrigo Duterte last April but he left to the country’s next leader the organization of the nine-member MCB, which is empowered to accept and evaluate applications for compensation and pay the verified beneficiaries.


Lininding wondered: “What is taking the new administration so long to organize the MCB?”

“It seems the rehabilitation of Marawi is no longer a priority [of the government],” he said.

The compensation for private properties is expected to boost the rebuilding of homes and drive the displaced families’ eventual return to their old communities.

A government profiling counted more than 15,000 families who were displaced from 24 villages in the city center that comprise what is now called the “most affected area” of the battles.

But at the start of 2022, only some 2,400 homeowners had applied for building permits.

In the last two years, the rebuilding that the government continually harped about involved public infrastructure, which, displaced residents said, are useless if they are not able to return to the lands they owned. Some of these projects are also faced with issues pertaining to land ownership.


P1-billion fund allotted for Marawi victims

Maranao leader welcomes push for Marawi compensation fund

Compensation board needed to ensure Marawi rehab – solon

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