Military allows return of ID’d Marawi folk | Inquirer News

Military allows return of ID’d Marawi folk

/ 07:02 AM October 21, 2017

MARAWI CITY—The military on Thursday said that it would allow the return of Marawi City residents whose houses were destroyed by airstrikes and shellings during nearly five months of fighting between government forces and pro-Islamic State (IS) terrorists, but they would have to be properly identified.

Col. Romeo Brawner Jr., deputy commander of Joint Task Group Ranao, told reporters on Thursday that residents in 24 villages that were on the frontline of the fighting could visit their homes from Dec. 15 to 22. The dates, however, might be changed, depending on the security situation, he added.


Returning to villages

Brawner said residents from 72 other villages, mostly situated in areas that had been under military and police control, started returning this week.


Marawi, a mosque-studded center of Islamic faith in the Philippines, was devastated by the siege by the militants who waved IS-style black flags and hung them on buildings they had occupied in its business district and outlying areas.

The insurrection prompted the military to launch a ground offensive and air strikes, with the United States and Australia later backing the troops by deploying surveillance aircraft.

Brawner said Marawi Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra suggested the implementation of an ID system for the residents, which the military would strictly enforce.

“The village officials themselves recommended it to ensure there will be no other people who can penetrate their villages … In fact, the other village officials are implementing it already,” Brawner said.

Under the new ID system, identification cards would be issued to persons who had received a certification from barangay officials that they were bona fide residents of the village. The barangay officials would base their certifications from the local census data and list of verified voters.

Properly identified

Residents who had returned home in areas that were not affected by the fighting had been properly identified by their village officials.


“The military respects the local officials. The governor and mayor are functioning, and very soon we can resume the operations of different offices,” he said. “Not only the residents but the government offices will be coming back to Marawi City.”

He said the return of residents would be allowed only after the completion of a four-phase program.

The first would be the cleaning up of their communities. This would be followed by the property retrieval and the lockdown of the residences. The restoration of local governance would be the third phase. The final phase would be the restoration of vital services such as water and electricity supply and hospital and medical care.

The Office of Civil Defense reported that of 465,674 people who had been displaced, only 27,000 were sheltered in various evacuation centers in Iligan City and in the two Lanao provinces. The rest stayed in homes of relatives or friends.

Fighting continued

Sporadic fighting continued even after President Duterte visited Marawi on Tuesday and announced its liberation, sparking hopes that hundreds of thousands of residents could begin returning home. The speed of their return, however, would depend on how quickly the city is declared safe of militants and rebuilt. —WITH A REPORT FROM AP

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: evacuees, Islamic State, Joint Task Group Ranao, Marawi liberation, Philippine news updates
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.