MANILA – The newly enacted Republic Act 11696 or the Marawi Siege Compensation Act of 2022 will pave the way for the complete rehabilitation of the war-torn city, Task Force Bangon Marawi chairperson Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said Thursday.
“On behalf of our Maranaw brothers and sisters, I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for signing Republic Act 11696 or the Marawi Siege Compensation Act of 2022,” del Rosario told reporters in a text message.
The law, signed by Duterte on April 13, aims to provide monetary assistance to the conflict-affected residents in Marawi City.
“This will pave the way for the complete rehabilitation of our country's lone Islamic City and full recovery of the Maranaws from the destruction caused by the 2017 siege laid by the terrorists,” del Rosario added.
The law also grants the creation of the Marawi Compensation Board (MCB), headed by a chairperson and eight members, that will facilitate the tax-free payments of reparations to "qualified claimants" who lost residential and commercial properties due to the Marawi siege.
Meanwhile, the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch (MRCW), an independent and neutral multi-stakeholder group, welcomed the enactment of the compensation law.
Sultan Nasser Sampaco, MRCW member and Marawi Sultanate League chairperson, said the group “intends to harness the people’s deep understanding of the local context and the web of formal and informal institutions that govern the city to ensure that the rebuilding process is people-centered, informed by best practices, and conflict-sensitive.”
The International Alert Philippines which also serves as the MRCW secretariat, said the act will establish “a precedent for future victims of war and destruction.”
“Through this law, no victim shall be left uncompensated. We celebrate this milestone with the IDPs and victims of the Marawi war for this hard-earned victory,” it said in an email.
Saripada Pacasum Jr., another MRCW member and Lanao del Sur Early Response Network convenor, thanked Duterte for signing the legislation that will push the full recovery of Marawi residents.
“This is one of the most important laws passed under the Duterte Administration. With the president’s signing of this law, he delivered justice and equal priority to the Maranaws who have lost and sacrificed so much in the past 5 years,” he said.
Dansalan College president, Dr. Fedelina Tawagon, also an MRCW member, hopes that the implementation of the legislation will turn out "smooth, fair, and just" for the internally displaced persons (IDPs), who were greatly affected by the conflict.
“Profound thanks to President Duterte for approving the Marawi Compensation Law. We salute you for your sincerity in helping us rekindle our hope for a better future,” Tawagon said.
“This law is a moral and legal victory for the Meranaw IDPs whose lives have been suspended in the long process of rehabilitation and recovery of Marawi City and its people,” she added.
Jalilah Sapiin, an MRCW member, said the law will greatly provide strong means of recovery for the IDPs.
“With the passage of this Act, we now have a stronger resolve to move forward, begin rebuilding our damaged properties, and trace our path to recovery. This will provide the financial means to recover from the devastation brought by the war,” he added.
Another MRCW member, Dr. Rolanisah Dipatuan-Dimaporo, cited the signing of the compensation bill into law plays a very significant role in the full recovery of the people hit hard by the 2017 Marawi siege.
“Finally, we thank President Duterte. Today, we celebrate the passage of truly landmark legislation. This is a very big deal. This critical law marks the most significant action for the full recovery of Marawi, mechanisms, and processes where people who lost their loved ones and owners of properties that were demolished and destroyed during the five-month Marawi siege will now be established and victims now may file their claims for compensation,” she said.
Mcmillan Lucman thanked Duterte and the rest of the legislators for “their unwavering commitment for Marawi IDPs to get justice.”
Mohammad "Khalil" Abas, also a member and executive director of TASBIKKa Inc., hopes that the law will finally “heal the wounds of the Maranaws” caused by the five-month-long siege. (PNA)