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S’BANG KA MARAWI Stories from Ranao

October 2018 Vol. 1 No. 3

MARAWI LIBERATION ANNIVERSARY INCITES #LETUSGOHOME MOVEMENT CHRIXY PAGUIRIGAN

IT HAS BEEN A YEAR SINCE THE GOVERNMENT flaunted the ‘liberation’ of Marawi but their ambitious promises have yet to prosper. The groundbreaking for the rehabilitation of Marawi was initially planned to take place last October 17 to symbolically mark the first year since the firefights have ended. However, it has been moved to a later date.

The Marawi Rehabilitation had been pushed back at least 10 times. According to Falconi Millar, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Secretariat Head, the new “likely” date will be on October 28. The people of Marawi have grown tired of waiting. “We have been patient and we’ve kept our composure. Now, we want to go home,’ the #LetMeGoHome Movement, a youth-led movement

advocating for a faster rehabilitation, voiced out. The Let Me Go Home Movement is an initiative of the youth sector from from the Most Affected Areas (MAA) of the siege. “It is [our] way of showing their support to the different sectors in the Marawi community,” they said. CONTINUE TO PAGE 5


2 NEWS

S’BANG KA MARAWI Government and humanitarian groups FIRM Project patuloy sa pagbibigay ng team up in the 2nd Kawiyagan tulong pinansyal sa mga IDPs OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 1 NO. 3

BRENDA GRIFON

HANNAH NERA

Distribusyon ng iAFFORD cards. Kabilang sa mga pangunahing aktibidad ng PDRRN bago mamigay ng iAFFORD cards ay ang pagtututo ng responsableng paghawak ng salapi sa mga IDPs.

Marawi City. Government officials, Project Staff, and Asec. Felix Castro Jr. give iAFFORD cards to IDP beneficiaries in behalf of the Financial Inclusion for Recovery of Marawi (FIRM) Project.

AS PART OF THE ONGOING EFFORTS TO REBUILD the war-torn city, government agencies and humanitarian organizations work together last September to participate in the second Kawiyagan Festival in Marawi City. Spearheaded by the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), the Kawiyagan meaning “livelihood” in the Meranaw language is a celebration held every 27th day of the month. The event paved way for the ceremonial turnover of livelihood support to residents of Marawi city especially to those who are still in the evacuation sites. TFBM Field Office manager Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr. said they are focusing on rolling out livelihood interventions to the IDPs. Hundreds of evacuees have received agricultural supplies such as seeds, fuels for the tractors, and sewing machines. “Tinitingnan namin kung paano magtutulungan ang iba’t-ibang grupo for the rehabilitation,” Castro added. The Kawiyagan aims to step up the convergence of government agencies, civil society organizations, humanitarian and non-government groups in its relief operations and organize the list to avoid duplication of distribution of grants among beneficiaries. TFBM is hopeful and committed to build a better

livelihood landscape and a sustainable source of income for the residents of Marawi. The humanitarian organizations that participated were People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN), World Food Program (WFP), Community and Family Services International (CFSI), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Maradeka. PDRNN exhibited the Financial Inclusion for the Recovery of Marawi (FIRM) that aims to provide digital financial literacy and Islamic financing for functional financial management to the IDPs by providing basic financial literacy orientations. At least 10,000 families is expected to benefit from FIRM. They also distributed thousands of iAfford cards that were given to help the IDPs secure their money and transactions. “Magiging safe at transparent ang mga pera nila. Hindi lang natin [basta] kina-capacitate yung mga tao for cashless transactions. Tuturuan natin sila paano mag-save at mag-budget,” PDRRN Project Team Leader Ricky Senoc said. Through the orientation, NGOs hope there would be increased livelihood skills to support growth of family income and financial awareness. The third Kawiyagan will be hosted by the Department of Agriculture in October.

MULING NAMIGAY NG IAFFORD CARDS AT nagbigay kaalaman tungkol sa financial inclusion at responsableng paghawak ng salapi ang People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network o PDRRN na kabilang sa Financial Inclusion for Recovery of Marawi Project o FIRM. Nagparehistro at tumanggap ng iAFFORD cards ang mga residente mula sa Sangkay Dansalan noong ika-22 ng Oktubre at sa Sabala Manao Proper at Sabala Manao 1 noong ika27 ng Oktubre 2018. Bukod sa distribusyon ng iAFFORD cards sa iba’t ibang komunidad sa Marawi at kalapit na mga lugar ay aktibon ding sumasali ang proyekto sa Kawiyagan kung saan nagtitipon ang iba’t ibang mga ahensya ng gobyerno, non-government organizations (NGOs), at civil society organizations (CSOs) upang sabay-sabay magbigay serbisyo sa mga IDPs. Kabilang din ang FIRM Project sa food convergence kasama ang United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), at World Food Programme (UN WFP) sa pagbibigay ng bigas at iba’t ibang magpapagkunan ng pagkain. Layunin ng FIRM Project na magbigay ng tulong pinansyal sa mga internally displaced persons (IDPs) na apektado ng Marawi Siege. Bukod sa tulong pinansyal ay layunin din ng proyekto na magbigay kaalaman tungkol sa financial inclusion, Islamic finance, pag-iipon, at iba’t ibang serbisyong pinansyal na maaaring maisagawa gamit ang prepaid card o iAFFORD cards mula sa PayMaya. Mayroong 10,000 benepisyaryo ang programa kung saan 60% ay mga kababaihan. Hahatiin ito sa iba’t ibang serbisyo kabilang ang cash for work, cash CONTINUE TO PAGE 8


3 NEWS

S’BANG KA MARAWI

OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 1 NO. 3

Kandong ng isang ina ang kanyang anak habang naghihintay na mabigyan ng iAFFORD card ng mga kawani ng PDRRN mula sa FIRM Project.

Kababaihang Maranao hinikayat na manguna sa pagbangon ng Marawi MIKHAELA DIMPAS PINA-IGTING NG IBA’T-IBANG MGA GRUPO ANG malaking bahagi ng mga kababaihan at mga nanay sa nagaganap na rehabilitasyon at pagbangon ng Marawi. Maraming proyekto na ang nasimulan upang maibsan ang ranas ng mga internally-displaced persons (IDPs) mula sa Marawi, kabilang rito ang proyektong Financial Inclusion for Recovery of Marawi (FIRM). Ang FIRM ay isang proyektong layunin na tulungan ang mga IDP sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay ng tulong pinansyal upang matugunan ang kanilang batayang pangangailangan sa pagkain, kalusugan kabuhayan, at proteksyon. Isang importanteng aspeto nito ay ang pagkuha ng halos 60% na mga babaeng benepisyaryo. “Nakikita natin na ang mga kababaihan, lalo na sa mga rural areas, ay madalas na hindi kabilang at walang access sa mga serbisyong pinansyal. Layunin natin na i-recognize at alisin ang mga humahadlang sa kanilang partisipasyon sa lokal na ekonomiya,” ani Ricky Senoc, Project Manager ng People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN). Matapos ang Marawi Siege, isa sa pinakatampok na kailangan ng mga IDPs ay ang livelihood

programs at ang cash assistance upang makabili ng mga batayang pangangailangan ng pamilya at makapagsimula ng maliliit na negosyo. Ngunit ayon sa “A Gender Snapshot of the Marawi Conflict” na inilathala ng Oxfam sa Pilipinas, AlMajudilah Development Foundation (AMDF) at United Youth of the Philippines- Women (UnYPhilWomen), ang mga livelihood programs ng gobyerno ay madalas na pang-lalake lamang. Sa isyung ito, ang Inclusive and affordable Financial Facilities for Resilient and Developed Filipinos (iAFFORD) Card ang sagot ng proyekto. “Ang iAFFORD Card na pinamimigay natin sa mga IDPs ay hindi lamang naglalaman ng cash assistance na pwede nilang gamitin sa pagsisimula ulit,” pagbibigay linaw ni Senoc. “Mas malaking benepisyo nito ang mabilis, mura, makabago, at ligtas na mga serbisyong pinansyal.” Ilan sa mga gamit ng iAFFORD Card ay bilang ligtas na deposituhan ng ipon, mabilis na pambayad sa mga bills at mabilis na pagtanggap o pagbigay ng pera sa mga kamag-anak sa ibang lugar gamit ang money transfers. Para kay Rokaya Alangadi, isang IDP, nagamit niya ang cash assistance na nasa iAFFORD Card upang

makabili ng mga pangangailangan ng kanyang pamilya at mga gamit sa eskwela ng kanyang tatlong anak. “Ang laki ng tulong [nito] kasi noong simula na ng pang-school ng mga bata, nabili ko yung mga notebook nila, mga bag,” ani Alangadi. “Pasalamat nga kami dahil kung wala yun, wala kaming mga pambili.” Dahil rin sa mga pagtuturo ng PDRRN, inaasahan ni Alangadi na kapag nakapagsimula siya ng maliit na negosyo ang kanyang ipon ay mas magiging ligtas kapag inilagay sa iAFFORD Card. “Sa ngayon, wala pa kaming malagay kasi wala pang kita. Ang gusto ko sana may pang-negosyo. Ipon lang, kung may pera, ipon lang,” dagdag niya. Kabilang sa mga organisasyong nagtutulungan sa pagpapatupad ng FIRM ay ang Oxfam sa Pilipinas, People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN), Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Al-Majudilah Development Foundation (AMDF), Paymaya Philippines, Smart Padala, at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) mula sa suporta ng United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.


4 opinion

S’BANG KA MARAWI

OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 1 NO. 3

Marawi Today: In a Comatose State FATIMAHZOHRAH TOCALO ABINAL-ALI, MAED SEEING MY CITY DEVASTATED WRECKS MY HEART. I know this is an inevitable feeling especially to people who grew up in Marawi. I cannot prevent myself from getting emotional whenever we passed through the newly opened bridges from Mapandi and Pamping, which was previously a part of the restricted areas of Ground Zero. From there, I have seen visibly the dilapidated structures of the MAA, seeing those tragic aftermaths of my Marawi triggers in me the nostalgic recall of my childhood as Batang Maranaw.

I can still remember the last time I’ve been there, when it was still a safe haven to everyone, it hurts to think that never in my wildest dream did I imagine that it would turned out this way. Honestly, I can now compare my Marawi to the body of a ‘Comatose Person.’ An ill-body of a man hovering between life and death. One of his feet, already in the ground: Half alive-half dead. A body with a soul still full of hope and determination to live a life, that only a miracle will permit. But just like a hopeless dying person, he belongs to a family. A family who is expectant of his recovery

and loves him dearly. A family who misses him a lot and continuous praying wholeheartedly for his recuperation. A family whose longing for his return. A family whose hoping for another chance to be with him, more, longer.

A family who would risk everything just to keep him well and alive. Those who fight for him and would never give up on him. That family is the MERANAO people... the people united as one.

“Marawi belongs to the Meranao and Meranao belongs to Marawi.” To all the good people of Marawi, let’s stand together and fight for our city. It’s time to do something! Let’s raise our voices so those in charge will not only hear our plea but act on it! Let us have what is ours, get what we truly deserve. Let us return to where we really belong. Please, start the rehabilitation of my Marawi the soonest time possible. We are very eager to return to our beloved Marawi. Let this hope of ours be realized with due diligence. To all my fellow Meranao people: “Together we stand, divided we fall.”

A Year-Long Call to Home LUISA CARLA GALICIA

A YEAR AFTER THE SIEGE AND THE MARAWI people are still dreaming the blurry dreams of uncertainty if they will ever go back to their home. It’s been a year and while those who have gone and passed are now laid to rest, and all the bombs and gunshots have stopped, the people remain restless; unable to find the comfort that they can only find in their land. This is the bitter truth that most of the Filipino people may have forgotten. A year have come in such a quick passing of time for most of us, but for those who lost their family, houses and everything they established, it has been nothing but a rough year of continued struggle and survival. The weight of the burden only gets heavier as time goes by. Luckily there are groups that remain true to what they want for Marawi – to rise again.

Recently, through the help of about 28 groups and companies who participated in “Servathon” or the service marathon held at the Philippine International Convention Center, the children of Marawi was reminded that there are still those who reach out. The work continues not only for the victims; it also lies upon the hands of all the Filipinos worldwide to help the Maranao people reach the realization of their dreams. These people have tried and have been trying to fill the hollow hole of loss caused by the war. Thousands of these people who have been displaced are getting tired of just dreaming. The marking of Marawi Liberation first year anniversary should be a wake up call that the dreams still exist, the fight still goes on.

What you have is what you are HANNAH RIZZA BAULO SARIP “BE CONTENTED WITH WHAT YOU HAVE” - THERE are so many sayings that elders tell us to remind us that life only gives what it can offer: no more, no less. However, there’s nothing wrong with wishing for something that you need. With Marawi, the desires of the people reflects their need to be home. The city is one of the greatest treasure that the people have after all. Then, Marawi was intact, united and one, its people was proud. Everyone highly appreciated their self-identity, but when the siege happened and only the other side of the city was allowed to accommodate residents, there are some people that have dropped their pride of being locals of Marawi. The people of Marawi are known for their pride however, some of them have dropped their scale of pride and race because of discrimination and prejudices. The once proud Marawi City is now in ruins and it’s future is still unsure. If only they can have their treasured city back... if only. To once again be able to face their identity proudly with their chin up, the people must be able to come back to where they came from.To understand wholeheartedly who and what they are once again, they should be able to be given what they originally possessed – they need to be reminded of Marawi was, and can be. The twist of fate for the Maranaw race was unexpected, took them by surprise, made them defenseless. The biggest treasure they have protected for years have been suddenly taken away in one blink of their eyes. It might not be so obvious to others but Marawi is something irreplaceable and something that defines our race. It is the only Islamic City in the country and it might not have something world class but it was what makes us who we are – the people of Marawi. Even I, a Maranaw myself, do not feel complete because the city is not complete – we are connected, every one of us, every bit of us.


5 feature

S’BANG KA MARAWI

OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 1 NO. 3

FROM PAGE 1 MARAWI LIBERATION ANNIVERSARY...

They added, “the movement is a wake up call for the Meranaw who have settled and a nudge to the government and the TFBM that we have not forgotten Marawi.” In the past few months, the movement has organized various activities and events like the recent Prayer Rally for Marawi, a photo gallery walk in remembrance of the “old and peaceful Marawi”,photo shoot campaigns and other online

Mga bagay na dapat alamin tungkol sa Islamic Finance

campaigns. “This movement is a silent protest to the slow or no progress in the rehabilitation,” they explained. The youth group also called for the community’s deep involvement in the recovery efforts. “We need to be part of the decision making that directly affect us. Let us be partners in achieving the goal of giving life back to Marawi, Let Us Go Home,” the group said in a statement. One of their online campaigns, a video entitled ‘A Letter to the President’ enphasized how the people of Marawi suffer while they wait for “ground zero” to be cleared and their lives to be restored. “Once, we were People of the Lake. Now we are People of the Tents,” they uttered. “Tents were never meant to be lived on for years and years - tents would never be home.” “The delay in clearing may be caution [to the government], but to us, they delay seems neglect. A catalyst from growing biterness,” they warned. “Let us go home so we may become what we are and should be: People of the Lake, no longer People pf the Tents. Marawi is ours, let us go home.

MIKHAELA DIMPAS ISANG TAON MATAPOS ANG MARAWI SIEGE, ANG gobyerno ay nasa proseso parin ng rehabilitasyon ng lungsod. Ang Marawi ay ang sentro ng negosyo at kalakaran sa probinsiya ng Lanao Del Sur, ngunit dahil sa giyera, halos lahat ng kanilang mga naipundar ay nawasak. Isa sa pinakatampok na mga pangangailangan ng mga internally-displaced persons (IDP) ay ang livelihood programs at cash assistance upang matulungan silang makabangon muli at makabili ng mga batayang pangangailangan para sa kanilang mga pamilya. Dahil dito, nagkaroon ng maraming programa ang gobyerno at mga non-government organizations patungkol sa financial inclusion, kabilang dito ang proyektong Financial Inclusion for Recovery of Marawi (FIRM). Ang FIRM ay isang proyektong layunin na tulungan ang mga IDP sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay ng tulong pinansyal upang matugunan ang kanilang batayang pangangailangan sa pagkain, kalusugan kabuhayan, at proteksyon. Nais nitong makasama at magkaroon ng access ang komunidad sa mabilis, mura, makabago, at ligtas na mga serbisyong pinansyal. Kabilang sa proyektong ito ay ang pagpapalakas ng Islamic Financing sa bansa. Kasabay ito ng

pagbigay prioridad ng Philippine Development Plan 2017 – 2022 sa kahalagan ng isang mekanismo upang maitaguyod ang Islamic Finance at ng mga rekomendasyon mula sa internasyunal na komunidad. Iginiit rin ng Mindanao Development Authority na pag-aralan ang gamit at benepisyo ng Sukuk, o Islamic Bonds, sa pag-pondo ng mga malaking proyekto sa Mindanao. ANO NGA BA ANG ISLAMIC FINANCE? Ang Islamic Finance ay ang sistemang pampinansyal kung saan ang mga financial institutions, kasama ang mga bangko, lending institutions, investment groups, at insurance companies, ay pinapatakbo ayon sa batas at patakaran ng Islam o Shari’ah. 1. Pagbawal sa Riba Ang Riba ay tumutukoy sa konsepto ng paglago, pagtaas, o pagsobra. Sa ilalim ng Sharia’ah, ito ay isang illegal at exploitative na praktis sa negosyo o kalakaran. Sa Islamic Finance, ito ay ang pag-bawal sa paniningil ng matataas na interes kagaya ng binabayad sa utang, sa mga pagbili gamit ang deferred-payment, at penalty sa mga delayed na pagbayad. 2. Pag-iwas sa mga Gharar Ang Gharar ay salitang ibig sabihin ay “hindi

sigurado.” Madalas itong konektado sa panloloko o kawalang pagkalehitimo ng isang bagay. Sa Islamic Finance, ito ay ang pakikipagtransaksyon ng hindi sigurado o hindi malinaw ang termino at bilang ng bibilhin. • Pagbebenta ng mga bagay na: • Hindi naman maipadadala • Hindi alam o sigurado sa presyo • Walang maayos na paglalarawan • Walang espisikong presyo • Walang maayos na pagsisiyasat ang bibili sa ibinebenta • May kondisyunal at magulong kontrata 3. Pagbawal sa Maisir Ang Maisir o Maysir ay tumutukoy sa mga sugal na ipinagbabawal sa ilalim ng Shari’ah Law dahil sa pagiging immoral na pang-akit na nakabatay sa tyansa nito, kung saan ang isa ay makikinabang lamang sa kawalan ng isa. 4. Pagbawal sa investment sa mga ipinagbabawal na industriya Bawal sa Islam ang mga industriyang nakasisira sa lipunan gaya ng mga industriya ng alcohol, pork, tobacco, droga, prostitution, at mga weapons of mass destruction. Dahil sa pagbawal sa mga industriyang ito, pinagbabawalan rin ng Islamic Finance ang pag-invest sa mga ito.


6 EDITORIAL

S’BANG KA MARAWI

OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 1 NO. 3

CAMOUFLAGE ‘LIBERATION’’ ‘LIBERATION’ TOOK 148 DAYS, 163 SOLDIERS, 847 REBELS, AND 47 CIVILIANS. In October 17, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte, in camouflage colors, flew to the war-torn city of Marawi and declared its liberation in front of hundreds of soldiers. A momentous occasion that was met with deafening applause from people who fought the war instead of the people who were directly affected by it. While the administration was busy telling the world that ‘Marawi is safe and is no longer at threat’, 73,000 displaced families are clamouring for food and water in clamped evacuation centers. Call it radical but this is not freedom, this is ‘camouflage’ liberation. What does it mean to be liberated? Liberation is setting someone or something free from imprisonment or oppression. Taking the word lightly, Marawi was branded ‘liberated’ and ‘free’ after 5 months of continuous armed encounters between military troops and a terrorist group called Maute ISIS. It may be safe to say that the terrorists have been defeated, but has the city been freed from oppression? Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in evacuation centers and home based settings around Lanao del Sur and nearby provinces beg to differ. For the Maranaos, liberation means freedom to go back to their homes, rebuild, and go back to their normal lives. The meaning is simple yet a year after the siege, a year after the ‘liberation’, nobody has ever been back to ground zero. Rounds of Kambalingan and Kambisita have been done but all it did was give the people a glimpse of the home they may never reclaim. Apart from being unable to come home, Maranaos are forced to live in evacuation centers and live with their relatives for more than a year, something that seems to be taken lightly by the government. As of June 2018, 63,840 persons remain displaced of which 51% are women. This poses a lot of issues on health, security, gender and protection, and

shelter. Amidst people living in evacuation centers, living with relatives, begging for basic services, struggling to recover in a war-stricken economy and social environment, saying that Marawi is ‘liberated’ is a huge understatement. The Military Narrative It is certain that nobody desired or even expected what happened in Marawi. In the past, Marawi has been a safe haven for victims of war. Maranaos have never been people to turn away from their brothers and sisters who have been caught in the middle of many firefights between rebels and government troops. Marawi has been a bedrock of peace and trade in Lanao del Sur, which makes it more questionable and unsettling how rebel groups attacked the Islamic city.

The government has been swift and cruel, if not, in addressing the armed conflict in Marawi. Many soldiers fought and risked their lives to purge the city of its attackers. The narrative of the Marawi siege is evidently what it is, many people can attest to what happened, however, the narrative of Marawi’s recovery and rehabilitation is something that needs to be straightened out.

The number of former military personnel seated in various government offices can be counted more than our fingers or toes, same goes for the officials working on the Marawi relief, recovery, and rehabilitation. It may be a sensible observation that the administration relies deeply on military strength and experience. There is nothing wrong with having a military

perspective; however, there should be a wide range of lenses used to look into the situation of Marawi. While the military focuses on security and a systematic approach in eradicating threats to protection and safety, Maranaos also have other needs and issues apart from security. The administration should also consider other narratives apart from the military’s. Now that the war is done and recovery is under way, issues of land management, ancestral land claims, and sustainable living environment for returnees should be taken into consideration. The security concern in Marawi might be recurring and inevitable but recovery and rehabilitation should only follow one narrative from the Maranaos themselves. True meaning of ‘liberating’ Marawi A year after its declaration, Marawi is yet to be liberated. Thousands of IDPs are still in unpleasant conditions and many are still unable to come home. A lot if interventions have been done but still nothing has been able to directly address the needs of the people. The true meaning of liberation for Marawi is something that can only be answered by the IDPs. Marawi will only be freed if its people say so. Based from what is happening now, more and more Maranaos are loudening the call that Marawi is not yet ‘liberated’. Social movements such as the #LetUsGoHome Movement, rallies, and community mobilization against the slow recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi are taking the front lines. It will be no time before the people of Marawi march and tell the world that ‘liberation’ was never granted to them. What happened on October 17th last year was a camouflage ‘liberation’, a move to conceal the real situation of Marawi. The war may have ended but the people are listening and they are taking notice. They are taking action. Soon the disguise will be unveiled.


6 FEATURE

S’BANG KA MARAWI

OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 1 NO. 3

People of Lanao Lake: Treasures and Threats CHRIXY PAGUIRIGAN

Filipinos should really learn about the largest lake in Mindanao which is also the second largest lake in the Philippines Lake Lanao is a large ancient lake that can be admired when you go to Lanao del Sur, just south of Mindanao. Some interesting facts about this lake and its people, the Maranaos, will be a step towards further protecting the lake, the culture and the population. The term Lanao is derived from a Maranao word “Ranao” meaning a body of water. So, “Maranao” basically means people of the lake. Lake Lanao as one of the ancient lakes in the world There is even a Maranao myth that describes how angels formed the lake. An ancient lake is a lake that has consistently carried water for more than one million years. The myth speaks of a state named Mantapoli, it was centered in Lake Lanao. The people of ‘Mantapoli’ increased in population and an imbalance of power between the east and west broke. To solve the

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problem an army of angles transferred Mantapoli and a huge empty basin was left in its former location. The hole eventually filled with water and became a deep blue-colored lake, which we now call Lanao Lake. The lake generates 70% of the electricity used by the people of Mindanao. The lake is fed by four rivers, Agus River, being the only outlet. A hydroelectric plant (a dam) is installed on the Lanao Lake and Agus River system to generate power. When the dam was built, the water temperature became warmer and it altered the water quality for the fish living there. There is also sediment buildup underneath the dam making the lake filthy. Human Impact on the lake Lake Lanao and rivers nearby has suffered from pollution, logging timber, extensive land use, and farming in the water catchment area. This is increasing soil erosion and deterioration of water

quality in the lake. As a result, the water flowing into and from the lake has been reduced severely. Philippine government agencies and other specialists have taken notice of it’s richness and have committed to protecting it from the threats it is facing now. People of the lake are now expected to assist and commit to the preservation and rehabilitation of the Lanao Lake. In a form last called “Mindanao Policy Program on Sustainable Development in the Lake Lanao Region: Research-Based Policy Insights” held last August 28 at Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology gymnasium, experts reported that they are now conducting comprehensive research programs to “reverse negative impacts of pollution to Lake Lanao” that will be composed of scientific investigations necessary to save the lake from complete degradation due to unsustainable human practices.

IDEALS MEDIA TEAM Mikhaela Dimpas, Brenda Grifon, Hannah Francisca Nera, May Anne Caduyac, Luisa Carla Galicia, Amanda Lingao, Christine Anne Paguirigan CONTRIBUTORS Fatimazorah Tocalo Abinal-Ali, Hannah Rizza Baulo Sarip PHOTOS Brenda Grifon, May Anne Caduyac, People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network, Philippine Information Agency, Flickr (eazytraveler), Marzoc Juwalriyah GRAPHICS Hannah Francisca Nera, Mikhaela Dimpas LAYOUT Hannah Francisca Nera


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S’BANG KA MARAWI

OCTOBER 2018 VOL. 1 NO. 3

Marawi holds first elections since Maute siege AMANDA LINGAO

FATIMAHZOHRAH TOCALO ABINAL-ALI, MAED

Election volunteers and local authorities managing voting precincts for the 2018 local elections (photo from Philippine Information Agency)

HUNDREDS OF DISPLACE RESIDENTS TROOPED to Marawi for the city’s special barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls last September 22. Despite the long trip of up to six hours away from the city, some displaced Maranaos returned to their hometown to vote in its first election since the five-month-long Marawi siege in May 2017, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Marawi is currently undergoing rehabilitation after fighting between government troops and the ISIS-affiliated Maute group displaced thousands of residents and wiped out parts of the city last year. The SK and barangay polls were initially held nationwide on May 14, 2018, but were postponed in the Lanao del Sur capital due to the city’s condition. Candidates had earlier filed their certificates of candidacy for the polls from August 23 to 30. Intense security The election was marked with intense security from the military and police deployed near the polling centers. COMELEC had also relocated polling centers for 24 of the barangays inside ground zero. Acting Lanao del Sur election supervisor Atty. Ray Sumalipao described the polls as peaceful and “orderly” despite incidents of violence, a report from Inquirer said. Joint Task Force Ranao Deputy Chief Col. Romeo Brawner, Jr. added the elections were the “first time”

If Only I Could Be An Extraordinary Human

no election-related deaths were reported in Marawi. Despite this, reports of vote-buying and brawls were still present. In Barangay Lumbac Madaya, police at a polling center fired warning shots and temporarily halted voting after a fight broke out between supporters of competing candidates, according to an ABS-CBN report. A civilian was also held for questioning in Sagonsongan after he was caught with campaign flyers and P20 bills that were attached to them. Low-voter turnout was also an issue, as only 60 to 70 percent of registered voters showed up at the polls. Sumalipao said the low turnout was expected, even as government had provided vehicles to bring displaced residents to Marawi for the elections. Based on a report by Rappler, roughly 83 percent or 64,364 displaced families have returned to Marawi as of August. However, Sumalipao added that the large number of candidates running unopposed was also a major reason for the low voter participation. Aside from special elections, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) also opened special voters’ registration dates for the in Marawi from October 1 to 15. The city was unable to participate in the nationwide voters’ registration from June 2 to September 29 due to its security situation.

IF I COULD DO SOMETHING FOR MY MARAWI, I would paint a new city out of its brokenness. If only I could do more than just wandering through whatifs. But reality always hits me. I am just ordinary. I wish I could do more than just expressing my grief and fragile hopes. Speaking and writing about it may give a temporary ease, but at the end of the day, everything I am going to say here will just remain an opinion. If you were given a chance to be an extraordinary human for a day, what will you do? What power will you choose? Will you use it for your own benefit or for the others? Most people will say that they will serve for the benefit of others. No matter what the agenda may be or personal interest behind, what really matters most is not the vibrancy of words but the action and sincerity of intention. You can answer for yourself. My Marawi has become a city of ruins. All we can think of is how to get back to our old lives. It is easy for people to tell us to wait for the rebuilding of a new Marawi. But waiting is just another terror we lived in as we try to rebuild our own lives. They can always try to assure us with their promises and plans, but they will not understand the pain in waiting. Pain is unbearable but like many other survivors, we have no choice but to put it as badge and go on with our lives. I hope that no more place will ever suffer the same as how my Marawi did. If only I could be an extraordinary human, I would heal my Marawi and make my home a better place again. MULA SA PAGE 2 FIRM PROJECT PATULOY...

for care work, at cash for asset recovery. Tatakbo ang proyekto hanggang sa Disyembre 2018 at layunin ng pryektong magkaroon ng sapat na kaalaman sa responsableng paghawak ng pera ang mga IDPs upang maiwasan ang mga problemang pinansyal sa panahon ng krisis o sakuna. Kabilang sa mga kabahaging ahensya ng FIRM Project ay ang United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (UN CERF), Oxfam sa Pilipinas, People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN), Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment Through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS, Inc.), at Al-Mujadilah Development Foundation, Inc. (AMDF).

The S’bang Ka Marawi Newsletter is produced by IDEALS Inc. as part of the Financial Inclusion for Recovery of Marawi (FIRM) Project. FIRM is led by the People’s Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN), Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS), Al-Majudilah Development Foundation (AMDF), PayMaya, Smart Padala, Oxfam Philippines with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

S'bang Ka Marawi Newsletter October  

S'bang Ka Marawi Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, October 2018 | Stories from Ranao | The SKM Newsletter is produced by IDEALS Inc. as part of t...

S'bang Ka Marawi Newsletter October  

S'bang Ka Marawi Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 3, October 2018 | Stories from Ranao | The SKM Newsletter is produced by IDEALS Inc. as part of t...

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