De Lima laments ‘humanitarian issue’ in Marawi
Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday decried the “humanitarian issue” in Marawi City where hundreds of civilians remained trapped as government troops are conducting air strikes to flush out the terror group Maute.
In a statement, De Lima said the government should step up its efforts to rescue these civilians trapped in Marawi, reportedly numbering 300 to 1,700.
“This is now a humanitarian issue because a substantial number of innocent civilians are still trapped in the conflict areas. Some of them lack food to eat and clean water to drink, if they are lucky enough to survive the heavy exchanges of fire,” De Lima said.
De Lima also lamented the use of civilians to cook or carry ammunitions for the terrorists, and the use of orphaned children to fight alongside the Maute.
De Lima likewise decried the dire conditions of the internally-displaced persons in crowded evacuation centers.
“Affected local residents already lost their properties and livelihood, while their children’s education, health, and social welfare are adversely affected. Such are the horrors of war that have become so costly for all of us,” De Lima said.
De Lima said the Department of Social Welfare and Development has reported that as of June 13, 65,198 families or 316,684 individuals were displaced from Marawi City and Marantao in Lanao del Sur, 14,772 of whom are staying in 68 evacuation centers.
Another 9,252 families or 43,159 individuals evacuated from Marawi City to Iligan City where a covered court was used as an evacuation center.
De Lima said these crowded evacuation centers pose a greater risk of illnesses to the thousands of internally displaced persons. JE