MANILA: Five months of heavy fighting between government forces and members of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, not only resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people but also left the city in ruins a year ago.
Today, while the Philippine government has announced its plans to rebuild Marawi, many residents who were displaced by the war remain uncertain about their future
Interviewed by Arab News, Ai’sha, one of the residents, lamented that “people are not satisfied with the way things are progressing.
“It (the start of the siege) will be already one year ago in a couple of days and people are still not allowed into the area,” she said, referring to those whose homes were at the ground zero or the most affected part of the city.
She added even those who live in barangays (villages) that were not hit by the fighting also continue to feel the impact of the siege. While they did not lose their homes, they have lost their livelihoods.
Even their movement — when they need to go to the market or elsewhere in the city — is affected because they are “prevented from even taking advantage of the easiest road for them.” Thus they have to go around, which means a bigger transportation cost.
When asked about the rehabilitation of Marawi, Ai’sha said many affected residents fear that the entry of multinational companies “to help them” is a mere “disguise” because eventually “they are going to take over the businesses in Marawi city.