Southerners anticipate Senate’s nod on Marawi Act

John Unson - Philstar.com
Southerners anticipate Senate�s nod on Marawi Act
One of the several barangays in Marawi City that got ruined as a result of the 2017 conflict in the area.
Handout photo, Norodin Alonto Lucman, via John Unson

COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Stakeholders are certain the House Bill 9925, now in the Senate, will hasten the restoration of normalcy in the conflict-wracked Marawi City once enacted into law.

House Bill 9925 is more known as the Marawi Compensation Act that the House of Representatives approved on third reading last Monday.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong Jr. said Saturday the proposed measure, transmitted to the Senate Tuesday, will hasten the rebuilding of Marawi City from devastation wrought by the May 23 to Oct. 16, 2017 conflict instigated by the Maute terror group.

Marawi City is the capital of Lanao del Sur, one of five provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Adiong said the Senate has its version of the measure, the Senate Bill 1395.

“We are wishing for this proposal to get fully legislated soon,” he said.

A number of barangays in Marawi City, from among more than 90, got ruined by the 2017 conflict, sparked by the religious adventurism of the Maute terror group.

The group --- whose founders, the siblings Omarkhayam and Abdullah Maute, both perished during their siege of  Marawi City --- operated in the fashion of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

The hostilities resulted in the deaths of more than a thousand people, mostly villagers caught in the crossfire.

No fewer than a hundred soldiers and policemen were killed in action during the five-month conflict that displaced some 300,000 people and left a dozen historic, centuries-old Maranao villages in ruins.

“This has been the longtime clamor of the people of Lanao del Sur. We have been wishing for the passage of the Marawi Compensation Bill,” Adiong said Saturday.

He said his administration is thankful to the House of Representatives for having approved House Bill 9925 on third reading last Monday.

The BARMM government and the Southern Philippines Development Authority are both supporting the proposed Marawi Compensation Act, or MCA.

Gerry Salapuddin, SPDA administrator, said Tuesday he is optimistic that the Senate will accelerate the passage of the MCA.

“That will give justice to the Maranao people and the non-Maranaos who suffered so much from the Marawi siege now in a still so saddening situation,” Salapuddin then said.

He said the MCA will accelerate the restoration of peace and normalcy in Marawi City.

“We are thankful to the House of Representatives for that,” Salapuddin said.

BARMM Local Government Minister Naguib Sinarimbo said Saturday the BARMM leadership is just as grateful to the House of Representatives.

Sinarimbo, Bangsamoro regional spokesperson, said the BARMM government is concerned with the rebuilding of Marawi City via infrastructure, socio-economic and other humanitarian interventions.

“We want the conflict-stricken areas there to rise again,” Sinarimbo said. 

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