Press Release
February 1, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1214:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the Passage of the Marawi Compensation Bill

Bertrand Russel has said, "war does not determine who is right - only who is left." Hindi nga sa bilang ng balang naiputok o dami ng dugong dumanak nasusukat ang pinsala ng kahit anong digmaan. We count not the arguments won and ideals brought to the frontlines, but the families torn apart by deadly armed conflicts, the loss of livelihood, and the shattered dreams left in its wake.

The City of Marawi was relatively peaceful. Until that one fateful day in 2017 that left the stench of death in the air, and homes gutted to the ground. It turned houses and buildings into battlegrounds, and people to casualties.

In the end, it did not matter who was right or wrong. We watched as the battle between our own armed forces and armed groups turned the streets of Marawi into a trail of death or destruction.

And so years on, we ask: have we nursed Marawi back to life? Naibigay na ba natin hindi lamang hustisya ngunit bagong simula para sa mga naiwan? Families were forced out of their homes, only to return after the war with their homes torn down and livelihood looted through. Muli sumasagi sa ating isipan, naibangon na ba natin ang Marawi?

The road has been long but here we are finally helping the residents of Marawi pick up the pieces with Senate Bill No. 2420, or the "Marawi Siege Victims Compensation Act of 2021", by ensuring that victims are provided with compensation for the loss or destruction of their properties. It recognizes the internally-displaced persons (IDPs) who were driven out by a battle that has left them either widowed or orphaned, and homeless.

This bill which this representation has co-authored, aims to extend support to 24 barangays considered as Main Affected Areas in Marawi, as well as 8 other barangays known as Other Affected Areas. Victims will be entitled to monetary compensation, free of tax, for their properties where the armed conflict has laid waste.

Hindi pa tapos ang trabaho. Isa lamang ito sa marami pang hakbang na ating tatahakin upang siguraduhing maibabangon muli ang paraisong ito. We will continue to rehabilitate Marawi and breathe life back into it through meaningful programs and legislative measures.

Tulong-tulong nating ibalik ang ningning sa mata ng mga residente ng Marawi, at liwanag sa kalangitan nito. When the last dust has settled, we will ensure that not only do we serve justice, but that memories of the lost are valued by giving those they left behind a tomorrow to hope for.

(Access the handwritten version, here: )

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