ISLAMIC CITY OF MARAWI – “Despite our current situation, let us remember that a new opportunity can and will always present itself even in times of crisis,” Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman said on Monday, October 30, as he addressed residents and government employees during the flag-raising ceremony held in the city hall grounds.
The flag ceremony is the first since the five-month siege recently ended in Marawi, and was held as part of ARMM’s People’s Day. This was after more than 4,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) finally returned to Brgy. Basak Malutlut, where the initial firefight between state security forces and terrorist elements of the Maute Group broke out last May 23.
“This is not the time to blame each other for the things that have happened, but a time for us to work together toward rebuilding and rehabilitation.
“We must not only express sympathy for each other; we need to exert effort towards helping one another in the long process of healing,” Hataman said.
For his part, Lanao del Sur Provincial Crisis Management Committee spokesman and ARMM assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong said: “We are thankful to everyone who has made this day possible, as we commemorate our symbolic return to where the conflict began, which is now the same place where the revival of our city begins.”
In his message, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra recognized the joy that comes with being home again but “gently reminded” everyone that there is still much more to be done. He asked his fellow city residents for a “favor,” and asked them “to unite, to work and live for peace.”
Various line agencies of the ARMM set up booths on the city hall grounds, where they provided various services to the public, while relief goods were distributed to returning Marawi City residents who attended the event.