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Marawi mayor wants safety assurance before evacuees return home

Majul Usman Gandamra

Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra (Photo from the Philippine Information Agency)

Safety first.

This was the message on Tuesday of Marawi City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra to all his displaced constituents who are wishing to return to their houses as the city hall reopens on Monday.

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Gandamra urged his constituents who are situated in and outside of the city because of the clashes to wait for safety clearance before making a decision for them to go back to their houses.

This development came after Gandamra received proposals from constituents themselves and non-government organizations (NGOs) to allow the return of the evacuees to their homes, even with the absence of a military clearance.

“Nandyan pa po ang threat. Meron pa pong ongoing offensive. Kaya po tayo’y nakikiusap na pag-usapan po natin ang ating mga plano. Huwag po tayong magpadalus-dalos na magbigay ng aksyon (The threat still exists. There’s an ongoing offensive. So we are urging everyone to talk about our plans. Let’s not be hasty in issuing actions),” Gandamra said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer.

“Alam po nating gusto nating bumalik agad (We know that we all want to return immediately). But, of course, let us also consider the safety of our people,” he added.

Marawi City hall reopened for business on Monday but “on a limited basis” because of the ongoing offensive between government forces and Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorist group.

Gandamra said that although the city hall has been cleared, it remains unsafe for employees and officials to report for work every day.

“Itong operation po ay on a limited basis. Sa loob ng one week ay hindi po tuluy-tuloy. Pumupunta po kami sometimes three times a week (The operation is on a limited basis. It cannot ensue for a week. Sometimes we report to the office three times a week),” he said.

The Marawi City mayor continued to ask for food support and non-food reliefs from concerned sector of society. The local government was also putting up temporary shelters for affected residents.  JPV

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TAGS: Marawi City, Marawi City Hall, Mayor Majul Gandamra, Mindanao conflict
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