DUMAGUETE City now hosts several evacuees from besieged Marawi City with the arrival of at least five families numbering about 30 people since Tuesday, May 30, and more are expected to come through inter-island vessels.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said the first three families arrived on Tuesday and on Wednesday, two more families joined their relatives.
The city chief executive said the evacuees came here as most of them have relatives in Dumaguete particularly at Poblacion 8 where a Muslim mosque is located, aside from the mosque in Bagacay village. Likewise, most were not first timers here.
Most of them are natural Maranaw traders who could not bear the threats on their lives in Marawi. Being traders, the newly-arrived evacuees are seeking permission of the mayor to sell their wares on the sidewalks.
To ensure the safety of Dumaguete, Remollo directed the police to conduct a thorough background check on the evacuees for profiling purposes. He also ordered for the continuous monitoring of evacuees whereabouts.
The mayor stressed the city was doing this with the police, the intelligence community and the village officials because these were not ordinary times after the siege of Marawi. “I don’t want monkey business in Dumaguete; 'no' to drugs and 'no' to terrorism”, Remollo pointed out.
Amerodeng Abubakar Deleon, who can speak Tagalog, narrated to the local media their ordeal in getting out of Marawi.
They were in Guimba, Marawi City when gunfire erupted and buildings were set on fire and many residents scampered to different directions.
After hearing that martial law was ordered, he decided to leave the city with his family and with the others were residing in one compound.
They were able to reach Dipolog City through the north, going to Iligan, Dapitan and Osamiz by barge and boarded the boat bound for Dumaguete City without any belongings.
Their contact in Dumaguete, a certain Amin Mapande, resident of Poblacion 8, said the five families were his relatives and that he was constantly communicating with them while they were making their way out of Marawi.
Mapande is the president of the vendors association in Dumaguete whose members are Maranao-speaking Muslims.
He assured Mayor Remollo and the people of Dumaguete that they were peace-loving Muslim businessmen.
Village chief Delia Señagan also confirmed that she has several Maranaws as constituents in her village.
She conducted a short dialogue with the group together with the city police and the Muslim community headed by Ustaj Abdullah Maula. (PNA)