Malacañang yesterday warned against a shadowy group of Maranaos affected by the ongoing Marawi crisis that has threatened to use force to push for a return to normalcy in the predominantly Muslim city.
The warning came following reports on the emergence of the “Meranaw Victims Movement” that demanded the restoration of normalcy in Marawi City and in the province of Lanao del Sur.
The demand was addressed to the government, the Islamic State-inspired Maute group, and even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
It has threatened to use force unless its demands are met.
The group’s members call themselves “sons and brethren” of evacuees from Marawi City.
The Palace said it would not allow the formation of civilian armed groups seeking to rectify perceived wrongs or issuing demands to the government.
“The government does not tolerate the formation of armed groups to seek redress for grievances of citizens. Also, demands from government are better made through dialogues and consultation with various stakeholders,” said presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella.
But he said Malacañang said the government is still validating reports about the existence of such group.
“The government, through the military, is still verifying the veracity of the video posted online on the existence of a new armed group called Meranaw Victims Movement,” Abella said. (pna)