Marawi residents want to go home

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Residents of Marawi wants to go home and build their own houses rather than avail a relocation site which the government is offering.
Residents walked their way from the freedom park of Marawi City to ground zero in an attempt to resettle on their own community which has been devastated during the five month Marawi siege.
The group tried  to enter the Most Affected Area (ground zero)  to hold Prayers but soldiers prevented their entry.

resdeints of Marawi walked from Peoples park to the Most Affected Area (Ground Zero) but they were not allowed entry.-Photo Courtesy of Duyog Marawi

“For in the guise of rebuilding our home, in the guise of laying down the foundations of a better, progressive and modern city, the will and vision of those who live far from us who built this city are being imposed upon us. This is an invasion of a different kind. This one threatens to rob our soul. Plans have been made without our participation. Plans that neither bear the stamp of our will nor reflect our culture,” said the group.

Duyog Marawi in their FB post.”Those who came to present the plan dismissed our comments, recommendations, and protestations as though we knew nothing and have no business getting involved in rebuilding our very own city,” it added.

The group has appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to “put a stop to the proposed Eco zone and military camp plans until we have been heard, until our dreams and aspirations, our cultural sensitivities and our faith find expression in the rebuilding of Marawi City, our home.”

“We appeal to you to let Marawi be rebuilt the way our ancestors did: one house at a time, one masjid at a time. One village at a time. We welcome those who are willing to help us in this endeavor, for the challenges are daunting and the costs are high. We appeal though that please help us rebuild according to our will in pursuit of the will of Allah(swt). Stand with us, help us, please, be one of us,” the statement added.

Hundreds of families are still at the evacuation centers, distributed in the municipalities of Balo-i, Saguiaran and Pantar. The transfer of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their temporary shelters is yet to be completed.

The government has already presented a blueprint for the planned Ecozone, but residents said “The blueprint of this city is in the hearts and minds of the Meranaws, and not in the drawing boards of urban architects and master planners.”

The group claimed, “Marawi was, is, and will always be our pride and our symbol. Marawi that is now in shambles. Devastated. Ravaged by a war we never wanted. Forced upon us by the exigencies of these times and historical imperatives.”-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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