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Jakarta Post

Marawi: Liberation or occupation?

  • Rufa Cagoco-Gulam

    Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Manila   /   Tue, October 22 2019   /  01:38 am

Last Thursday, Oct. 17, was the second anniversary of the “liberation” of Marawi City from the clutches of the Maute Group, classified by Philippine national security agencies as a key terrorist or violent extremist group operating in the Lanao provinces.Oct. 17, 2017, was the day all aerial and ground bombings in 24 barangays of the Islamic City of Marawi came to a halt. For many Meranaos, that day may have put out the fires of the five-month war. But the battle for regaining their integrity and distinctive identity as Meranaos or the proud “people of the lake” — also started that day.Leaders of nongovernment groups mobilized after the five-month Marawi siege, notably the Ranaw Multi-Sectoral Movement, the Moro Consensus Group and the United Mothers of Marawi Inc., have openly decried that the five-month siege was actually an “invasion of a different kind”, as an earlier a...