By Ali G. Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – Lanao del Sur Governor Mamibtal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr. has urged Congress to pass the Marawi Compensation Bill long pending plenary deliberations, pointing out the “patience of my fellow Meranaws is wearing thin” after four years in waiting.
Gov. Adiong issued the call when interviewed at the sidelight of the regional summit of the Bangsamoro autonomous governance here on July 23.
In a separate brief interview here by The Philippine Muslim Today news, meanwhile, the governor announced that the P400-million fund by the regional autonomous government for waterworks in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur has been allocated for three strategic areas of the city.
He named the three recipient zones as the Mindanao State University-main campus, and Barangays Sugod and Guimba, all of Marawi City. The three zones comprise 40 clustered villages long suffering from inadequate potable water supplies for decades.
MSU System President Dr. Habib Macaayong joined Gov. Adiong and partner implementing entities in breaking the ground for the construction of a waterworks project at the university campus last week. The separate project launch ceremonies for Barangays Sugod and Guimba were set this month, it was learned.
In his call for Congress to revive deliberations of the Marawi Compensation Bill, Adiong said has been sympathetic with several thousands of families, who got displaced from the five-month military offensives against handful number of combined Dawla islamiya (Maute group) and Abu Sayyaf militants, and lost their houses and other properties.
Among those wrecked buildings were the residential compounds of Adiong’s maternal grandparents in the Alonto clan. The compounds covered the graveyards of the late Sultan Alauya Alonto, the country’s first Maranao senator, and his deceased sons Domocao, a former senator also, and Madki, the first governor of Lanao del Sur.
“Four years after the Marawi siege, the patience of my fellow Meranaws is wearing this. Displaced families want to get out of the temporary shelters they are presently cooped up in and live in their homes again. We cannot blame them for wanting this. We appeal to Congress to pass the Marawi Compensation Bill so that the residents of the Most Affected Area of the Islamic City of Marawi (can) start the process of rebuilding their lives,” Gov. Adiong said.
A Sept. 24, 2020 report of the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) quoted House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman as disclosing the three enabling bills for the demand for compensation on Marawi destruction had gained committee-level approval at the lower chamber of Congress.
In the RMN report, Hataman announced that the harmonized Marawi Compensation Billwas approved by the House Committee on Disaster Resilience in September 2020.
Hataman reportedly said the committee-passed measure left for plenary deliberation the sums of compensation that reportedly ranged between P30-billion and P50-billion.
House Bill 3419, filed by Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ansaruddin “Hooky” Adiong, younger brother of the governor, pegged the reparation cost at P50-billion. Two other bills sought P30-billion reparation, the RMN report said.
All three bills proposed the creation of a Marawi Compensation Board that will administer the awarding of appropriate sums to legitimate claimants among thousands of residents with damaged properties, it was learned.
The bills could have included one that was drafted by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and handed to the House and Senate leaderships by lawyer Saidamen Pangarungan before his appointment as National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) secretary in 2018. (AGM)