Latip-Yusoph: Promises that are impossibilities

Meranaw Perspective

WHEN will this rehabilitation happen? Once again, the people of the war-torn Marawi are required to provide the long list of requirements in order to go back and claim what we legally have for centuries. For one owner to go back and claim his lot and damaged building, he has to comply and provide building design with complete electrical design for one to have a building permit to rebuild.

To some, this is a great innovation, while to some who do not have the money anymore to pay engineers to design their houses, another burden is felt. Why are we making these processes so difficult to those who rightfully own the land and the buildings that were damaged? What if one cannot provide? Does this mean that they could not rebuild at least with a tent or a nipa hut? Some Meranaws can afford but some cannot!

As what Rick Rocamora wrote on the special Marawi article and images on GMA news, he has captured the very thought of the people of Marawi ground zero like me:

“The sacred and beautiful mosques, minarets and prayer rooms were desecrated and are now empty and unusable. The overgrown weeds and other vegetation are like voices of anger and frustration to the long overdue promise of rehabilitation and the lack of accountability to deliver in time the many promises made.”

The promise again became dust in the wind for those who cannot afford engineering designs. We can only wish that the government has a means to assist those who cannot afford. Do we have any information on this? None.

Another broken promise is down the road. This is supposed to usher the fast recovery of the people. We all know that food assistance is just part of the rehabilitation. The mental and social aspects of the rehabilitation form the major part. If we continue to hurt the people, making them struggle and reducing them to beggars in their own backyard is another form of injustice.

A very viable solution has to be offered. Once the owners are validated, can we just allow them to go and start rebuilding their lives? I suspect something is more problematic that might come with this. The absence of markers on the lots being demolished and cleaned up is what makes this reconstruction a more dangerous one.

What if the owners get to their very street and cannot find any sign of their abode and lot? I just wished that all of the coordinates of every house and every lot were all documented by the government. Otherwise, another chaos is about to erupt. Who will give way if one exceeded the lot measurements? Who will judge? Who will be the normalizer? If we are not vigilant enough, we might not find the original lot size of every house.

As what my uncle used to say, the Dansalan area is the area that is badly hurt in the Islamic City of Marawi. This is the home of the original Dansalan royalties. What will be the reaction of the Dansalan people when their lots are claimed by those who registered themselves as settlers in the area?

These are just some of the issues faced by the people of the Marawi ground zero. What is difficult now is the availability of proper information and transparency on the part of the government and the military. Many are spoken against them, yet, no one is clarifying the issues.

On November 15, the technical working group for the establishment of a military camp in Kapantaran, Marawi City was issued by the Philippine Office of the President. This has again frustrated the people of Marawi. Many are saddened, worried and have violently reacted. The absence of clarifications, forums for consultations and dialogue among stakeholders bring more frustrations.

Again, I cannot less agree when Rick said that the overgrown weeds and other vegetation are like voices of anger and frustration. We should not keep ourselves away from real information. We do hope that one day, our people in the government will hear us and will share with us the real meaning of rehabilitation and reconstruction. We need to feel it and not just hear it.


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