Thursday Feb, 22 2024 12:48:54 PM

BEYOND MARAWI SIEGE: Poor village governance bred extremism

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 17:15 PM Wed May 24, 2023
Nash B. Maulana
Gov. Mamintal Adiong (2nd from right) in a huddle with BARMM Police Regional Director Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza (NBM)

BUTIG, Lanao del Sur—There was neither a functional nor a physical presence of governance particularly at village level, recalled Minister Naguib Sinarimbo of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MILG-BARMM).

Sinarimbo said the Office of BARMM Chief Minister Ebrahim has created the Bangsamoro Special Development Fund for Marawi Rehabilitation (BSDFMR) to sustainably address the socio-political and socioeconomic concerns that provided the platform for extremism and the recruitment of young men to the Marawi siege from neighboring areas in 2017.

The MILG chief said the implementation of the BSDFMR from the point of view of local governance should back-trace the socio-political and socio-economic issues that probably led to the formation of ISIS-fashioned young men and placed the city under siege six years ago.

Economically, BARMM supports the development of local economies at municipal level by helping local government units transform their inherent corporate powers into added functional economic component in local governance, pursuant to the 1991 Local Government Code. This, he said, allows local government units (LGUs) to establish and operationalize economic infrastructure support facilities like public market buildings.

Thus, the people’s socio-political well-being is served simultaneously, as the BARMM-MILG helps local government units build government centers at village and municipal levels.

For the residents’ socioeconomic welfare, the BARMM helps LGUs build modern marketplace building with a part in it that is potential for development of a storage section –in time for other aspects of development, like sufficient power supply, to set in.

Now, beyond the physical rehabilitation of Marawi City, the towns once occupied or were the pathways of terrorism, are slowly opening up to the public their showcase of development, far from the situation in 2017— and the will to sustain good governance in order to keep extremism at bay.

The BARMM government is supporting sustainable programs in Pagayawan town including conflict management, the town being the passage way of the ISIS-fashioned extremists to the Marawi siege in May 2017.

It can be recalled that the Marawi City siege in 2017 had snowballed from the takeover of Butig town.

Butig was prominently reported to have been occupied by the ISIS-fashioned Maute extremists. Roads have since been paved here since then, and its new municipal hall building being constructed by the BARMM government through the MILG, will soon be completed.

To date, at least 27 barangay halls have been or are being built in at least 23 of the 36 municipalities of Lanao del Sur. These have been funded under the region’s 2021 budget. More will be constructed from out of funds unspent in 2022 and from current 2023 budget programs of the Special Development Fund (SDF).

Sinarimbo said. The SDF is provided by the national government in addition to the region’s P 40 Billion Block Grant, and in a 10-year period from 2020.

A BARMM development team last May 19 literally walked through the escape routes taken by residents fleeing the siege towards Kapai and Tagoloan, both being on an ascending terrain on high ground northeastward.

To recall, the Philippine Army Scout Rangers later took that backdoor route in reinforcement of other government troops, including the Marines unit of the Philippine Navy on an offensive move toward the Banggolo Bridge on the third day of the siege.

Today, BARMM has built a stretch of concrete road directly connecting the towns and Marawi City to Cagayan de Oro City. This will enable the government to set up blocks of national and regional security forces to protect Marawi and the neighboring provinces from any semblance of the 2017 offensives.

Indeed, the BARMM effectively keeps security threats off the provincial boundaries in Lanao del Sur by constructing the standard Philippine National Police municipal police station (MPS) buildings designed to withstand heavy fire discharges during attacks.

According to General Allan Nobreza, director of the BARMM Police Regional Office, eight more MPS buildings were being constructed and soon to be turned over to the PRO.

Sinarimbo said the MPS buildings each worth P 6.5 million were constructed on modern PNP standard design with the hard concrete walling to effectively repel attacks, essentially from the rooftop at the first instance.

Engineer Abibazar Sali, chief of the Project Management Development Division (PMDD) under Sinarimbo’s office, said similar projects under MILG’s Support to Local Moral Governance (SLMG) Program, have been funded since 2021. These include the construction of MPS buildings in Maimbung, Talipao, Northern Kabuntalan, Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi and Hadji Mohammad Ajul Basilan. Seven more will be built under the 2022 SLMG funds.

Lt Dan Ducot COP Gen Allan Nobreza chief of police of Amai Manabilang, Lanao del Sur, said the town “has positioned itself as one of the most peaceful towns,” adding that the residents—among them, “followers of traditional religions and the indigenous people’s coexist peacefully.”

Sinarimbo said the construction of security infrastructure facilities were designed to keep leftist forces off the borders of Bukidnon, Cotabato and Lanao Sur provinces.


OPAPRU assures corruption has no place in MILF decommissioning process

MANILA – The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) assured that it would not tolerate irregularities in...

CIDG agents arrest in North Cotabato 2 men wanted for illegal drugs, murder in BARMM

PIGCAWAYAN, North Cotabato - KAKALABAS pa lamang sa pagamutan ng dalawang mga wanted persons nang arestuhin ng mga tauhan ng Criminal Investigation...

Senator asks OPAPRU to ensure MILF combatants' proper use of cash aid

MANILA – Senator Raffy Tulfo has asked the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) to include in the...

Lalaki, huli sa anti-drug ops sa Ampatuan

NAARESTO ang isang lalaki na sangkot sa iligal na droga sa Ampatuan, Maguindanao del Sur. Kinilala ang suspek an si Elias Depedro Lacibal Jr, 42...

Grenade attack in Aguak Army detachment, a retaliation from DI, says Army

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao Sur - PAGHIHIGANTE ang motibo sa paghagis ng granada sa loob ng CAFGU patrol base sa Brgy. Timbangan, Shariff Aguak,...