A Moro civil society leader on February 25, said Maranaos are getting more and more impatient following months of waiting for the government to charge soldiers allegedly responsible for some of the looting during the Marawi siege from May 23 to October 23, 2017.

Tindeg Ranao spokesperson Aida Ibrahim said Maranaos who lost their belongings and properties have yet to receive any compensation for their losses.

Ibrahim said many are now in doubt whether the government is serious in making those responsible accountable for the looting. 

On October last year, one official and five personnel of the Philippine Army were the subject of investigation by the Joint Task Group Ranao after they were supposedly caught looting some of the abandoned homes in the war-town city.

“We asked the evacuees if there were government agencies who paid them for the lost things but none came. No consultations have been made especially on how the Maranaos can get compensation or maybe how they can get their things back,” Ibrahim said.

Money, jewelry, furniture, and even antiques of the Maranaos’ home were believed to be stolen.

“We are hoping that what the Maranaos worked hard for will not be put to waste. If indeed the items cannot be recovered, we hope the government will pay them for the damage they have incurred in

Marawi City,” she added.

The military had repeatedly pointed to the ISIS-allied terrorists as the perpetrators of the widespread looting during the 5-month conflict.

Some 1,000 people were killed and the city’s more than 200,000 residents were displaced in the brutal house-to- house battle between the terrorists and state security forces.

Ibrahim said they will continue to seek for a congressional or Senate inquiry to investigate, among others, whether airstrikes, widely blamed for the destruction of large swathes of the city, were necessary to defeat the terrorists. PJ Orias