MILITANT youth group League of Filipino Students (LFS) in Northern Mindanao Saturday, April 14, blasted Task Force Bangon Marawi for its Kambisita program which allows displaced families to visit their homes inside most affected areas (MAA) in the city but only to retrieve and salvage personal belongings.
Abdul Jalil Datuan, Chairperson of LFS-Marawi said the program is insulting to the people of Marawi with the government treating them as ‘visitors’ in their own hometown.
“It's insulting that after almost 11 months of being forced out their homeland and staying in evacuation centers, all they could do is look at their homes and try to salvage whatever was left. It it is insulting that they are now treated as mere visitors in their own land and are forced to surrender their homes to the bloody hands of the military and the fascist US-Duterte administration,” Datuan said.
“After almost a year of being away from the land they grew up in, the people have nothing left in their properties to save. The walls of their homes are full of holes, their mosques and Qurans are disrespected, their valuables disappeared, and almost everything that they left behind because of the war is now in ashes. All their lives, Meranaws have lived and protected Marawi City, but where is this government taking the only Islamic City that we have?” he adds.
The youth group said it is now obvious that since the onset of the siege, the Duterte regime already had its eyes on favoring big capitalists and to sell the land of the Bangsamoro to big businesses.
Datuan said they continue to call the government to allow the residents to participate in the rehabilitation plans of Marawi.
“If ever the residents are even allowed back to the Islamic city, would it still be the place they called home?” he adds.
The group is also urging the youth and the Bangsamoro people to "turn our grief into rage to become productive".
“Rage that is purposeful and will propagate resiliency of the Meranaws – their strength and love for Marawi city. We must channel our disappointments and disheartenment and call for the return of the evacuees to Marawi City,” Datuan said.
“Let us unite the people in protecting our land against its modern colonizers: the fascist Duterte administration and the big capitalists who drool over the riches of Marawi. Let us fight for what is ours and hold the US-Duterte regime accountable for the destruction of Marawi,” he adds.
Last April 1, around 5,000 to 7,000 Marawi evacuees visited barangays Daguduban and Tolali, while other barangays will be opened for residents to visit in the coming days until May 10 based on the ‘Kambisita’ schedule posted on the Facebook page of Task Force Bangon Marawi.
The Task Force Bangon Marawi said Kambisita was conducted in response to the residents’ clamor to allow them to go inside the war zone.