Lawmaker to executive branch: Expedite creation of compensation board for Marawi siege victims

Lawmaker to executive branch: Expedite creation of compensation board for Marawi siege victims
This photo shows the Masjid Disomangcop mosque in Barangay Daguduban, where rebuilding efforts are underway.
Facebook / Task Force Bangon Marawi

MANILA, Philippines — A senator urged the executive government to expedite the promised formation of a compensation board to process claims from the victims of the 2017 Marawi Siege who, he said, have waited long enough for their compensation.

"It has been five years since the Marawi Siege transpired and the victims are still awaiting the implementation of (Republic Act) 11696 in the hopes that they can finally return to and rebuild their homes after suffering as internally displaced persons for half a decade," Sen. Robin Padilla said in filing Senate Resolution No. 8.

The resolution "urge the Office of the Executive Secretary to conduct the vetting process of the nominees that will compose the Marawi Compensation Board for purposes of their appointment by the President as provided under RA 11696 or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022," he added.

In April 2022, Republic Act No. 11696 or the Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2022 became law providing for the creation of the MCB, an independent and quasi-judicial body, to process compensation applications and resolve disputes for claims made by the victims.

The measure also states that the government will compensate the owners of private properties that were demolished due to the state's Marawi Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill into law in late April.

In May the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development convened to discuss steps on determining beneficiaries or claimants, identification of destroyed or damaged properties during the siege eligible for compensation, available funds that will be used under the Act and qualifications of members of the MCB.

But Duterte exited public office with the board itself never officially created. 

Under the law, the president is to appoint a Chairperson and eight members to the board. Three of the members should be from the Philippine Bar and preferably Maranao lawyers. Two are representatives of civil society organizations with at least one being a Sharia lawyer or a Muslim traditional leader. There should be one licensed physician, certified public accountant, educator and licensed civil engineer.

Padilla in a statement sent to reporters said that the victims displaced by the siege have long been clamoring for the formation of the Marawi Compensation Board. In the aftermath of the siege years later, 87 civilians were killed while nearly 1.1 million lost their homes.

"Since the passage of RA 11696 on 13 April 2022, victims of the Marawi Siege have been clamoring for the organization of the MCB...so it can forthwith perform its functions, organize, and promulgate the implementing rules and regulations," he said.

In his first State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. made no mention of the rehabilitation of Marawi.

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