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Makabayan bloc pushes for probe on Marawi rehab ‘abuses’

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The Makabayan bloc has cried foul over the reports of human rights violations during the ongoing rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City.

The progressive lawmakers on Wednesday filed House Resolution 1973 seeking to investigate alleged abuses and other concerns of the people of Marawi.

“Mula mismo sa mga residents ng Marawi, ang daming nangyari doon na paglabag sa karapatang pantao, hindi lang doon sa halos kalahating milyon na na-displace na mga Maranao dahil sa nangyaring siege sa Marawi City,” Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate said at a press conference.

“Hanggang ngayon naghahanap sila ng kasagutan, anong nangyari doon sa mga kapatid namin na naiwan doon sa kasagsagan ng giyera?” he added.

Citing various reports, the resolution said more than 50 civilians were killed, 380,000 were displaced and 1,780 were held hostage during the Marawi siege.

Some 980 militants were also reportedly killed, most of them were not identified, while 165 police and military personnel were killed and more than 1,700 injured.

More than 11,000 homes were likewise destroyed while over 27,000 families were displaced.

A National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission has also documented several cases of alleged rights violations, such as cases of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, and torture of Marawi residents, whom soldiers accosted while evacuating, the resolution said.

The lawmakers also said many Marawi City residents have expressed concern that there is no clear and comprehensive rehabilitation plan for the internally-displaced persons.

“Yung rehabilitation na bilyon-bilyon ang gugugulin ng gobyerno pero sa ngayon, kahit na residente ng Marawi ay at a lost. Ano ba talaga ang tunay na plano sa Marawi?” Zarate said.

“Babawiin daw ng pamahalaan ang kalakhan ng Marawi City dahil ito ay isang military reservation. Na yung dating nakatira sa sentro ng Marawi na naging sentro ng bakbakan ay hindi na pwedeng bumalik doon at marami pang iba,” he added.