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Uncertainty is written all over the face of a resident as he pauses briefly for a rest at what used to be his house in the predominantly Muslim Marawi City. (photo by froilan gallardo)

Marawi people use paint to claim ruins

By FROILAN GALLARDO
Special Correspondent .

MARAWI City – Facing uncertainties, desperate Marawi residents resort to tarps and spray-paints to claim their properties.

The tarps bearing the names of the landowners are then hanged on the walls, roofs of their damaged buildings.

Many property owners spray-paint their names on the remaining walls of their buildings.

“We have to put these signs so the government will know we are the owners to this rubble,” said Norsaly Saly, whose family owns three hardware stores and boarding house building.

The visit of families in the last sector in Marawi was marred with the arrest of some 100 youngsters caught looting in May 10.

Task Force Marawi deputy commander Col. Romeo Brawner said the youngsters were eventually released to the Marawi City Social Welfare and Development the following morning.

Task Force Bangon Marawi field manager Felix Castro Jr. said a total of 7,799 families or 57,100 persons were able to visit their properties inside Marawi City from the period of April 1 to May 3.

Castro said residents assisted by troops found the grisly human remains consisting of four skulls and another four skeletal bones.

At the end of the fighting in Marawi City in Oct. 23, the military has still to account the exact number of hostages and Daesh Maute gunmen.

President Duterte visited Marawi City on Friday where he appealed for time to complete the rehabilitation efforts.

Duterte assured Marawi residents they can have their properties soon after the demolition of ruined buildings can be completed.

“We will return the properties to the rightful owners once the downtown area is cleared,” Duterte told an audience of local government and military officials at the Lanao provincial capitol gym Thursday night.

Duterte said he envision breaking the rest of the 6,000 military reservation and turn them over to poor residents for farming.

Castro said most of the properties in Marawi lay within a military reservation signed by then President Elpidio Quirino in 1953.

He said the process of clearing Marawi City of ruined buildings would take up to 10 months.

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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