MANILA, Philippines — During get-togethers filled with conversations and laughter, some evacuees temporarily forget the nightmare they experienced in Marawi.
But fear still remains along with doubt, especially since the crisis in the city is yet to be over.
“Until now, we are still afraid because of the number of bombs we heard in Marawi,” said Naima Suba, a local resident.
“It is difficult to even walk around because you know, you might meet a soldier and if you do not have an ID, they will tag you as ISIS,” said Bai Muna Amintao.
Naima Suba and Bai Muna Amintao are among the more than 400 evacuees residing in Barangay Bito Buadi Itowa in Marawi City, just a few kilometers away from the war zone.
The evacuees are uncomfortable in the tents they are staying in because of the mud surrounding the area brought about by frequents rains.
Temporary shelters have been built but not enough.
“We are looking for ways to add more because some IDPs (internally displaced persons) living in tents are pitiful. The afternoons are too hot and when it gets cold, it’s really cold,” said Brgy. Bito Buadi Itowa chairman, Solaiman Ali.
But aside from feeling fear, residents are also angry toward the people responsible for the on-going crisis in Marawi.
Months before the siege, some had received reports that there will be an attack — but it was not given importance.
“Six months before the war happened we heard that there will be war in Marawi,” said Amintao. “They thought it will last one or two days. That would’ve been fine, but they did not expect that until now, the war is not yet over.”
They are hoping that they can return to their homes but what concerns them is whether they still have homes to return to.
“We do not know what happened to our house if it was bombed or burned because we have not gone there up to now,” said Suba. —Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue