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Tension grips Maranao community in Iligan

After reports of Maute relatives' land buying here, an ordinance on garbage segregation led to higher tension between certain sectors of the Maranao community and the city government after some settlers dumped trash on the sidewalks.

Jun Lino Bacus, Public Service Department (PSD) head, concerned citizens reported the throwing of unsegregated garbage in the village of Tubod populated mostly by middle class Maranaos.

Garbage was not collected after Bacus saw during inspection mounts of cluttered trash on the sidewalks allegedly dumped by Maranao families.

The city environment management has been implementing segregated biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage would collected by the Public Service Department (PSD) trucks.

Mayor Celso Regencia, a former police officer, immediately sent a team of policemen in the area to conduct random interview of Maranao families in the village.

An aide close to Regencia said the mayor was concerned not only about the garbage situation but by intelligence reports that some Maute sympathizers could be living in the area.

Recent confirmed reports of Mautes purchasing properties in Iligan or renting apartments have alarmed residents in a number of barangay (villages).

Regencia has also issued a cease and desist order against Maradeca Foundation and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) from constructing housing structures in the villages of Del Carmen, Santiago, Luinab, Suarez, Tambacan, Tomas Cabili, Dalipuga, Tubod and Santa Elena.

But Maradeca chief executive officer Salic Ibrahim clarified that the non-government organization has only distributed partition materials like malong (a multi-purpose garment) and plywood to IDPs in both standard and home-based evacuation centers in Iligan and Lanao del Sur and has never initiated or encouraged the construction of shelters in government lands.

The partition materials are meant to enhance privacy in the centers, Ibrahim said.

Maradeca officer-in-charge Cadi Fahad said the CRS has a sent a representative to the city mayor's office to clarify the matter.

Regencia has also been concerned about the increasing number of drug-related apprehensions in Barangay Tambacan that prompted the Iligan City Police Office to tighten security in the area.

Meanwhile, in a press interview over local radio, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra advised the Maranao residents in Iligan to follow the law and the city ordinances. "No one is exempted from the law," Gandamra said.

Gandamra sought a dialogue with Regencia to resolve the tension between the city government and the Maranao community in Iligan.

"While we are trying our best to bring back all the evacuees to Marawi, we are still lacking in temporary shelters," Gandamra said.

He added that the LGU is closely coordinating with Task Force Bangon Marawi for the swift repatriation of residents from Iligan and the military is still conducting clearing operations in Marawi especially in the main battle area.

[Source: By Ted Khan Juanite, The Manila Times, Iligan City, 27Jan18]

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small logoThis document has been published on 05Feb18 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.