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    Friday, June 30, 2017

    VIRAL: The Lesson of Marawi from a refugee

    Netizen Farina Marohomsalic, a Marawi refugee, expressed her sentiments regarding the ongoing Marawi siege through a Facebook post. The said post contains Marohomsalic’s personal view and standpoint as to how the Marawi ended up tumultuous at the hands of the Maute terrorists.

    “My two cents worth: even during the time we were all scampering to leave Marawi and get to some place safe we'd hear callous remarks from uniformed men and netizens how it's our fault this terrorist group thrived in our place," started Marohomsalic.

    "It was unsympathetic and insensitive but hey, somehow you get used to the hate you don't react anymore. But coming from the dear bapa Digong it was worse than a slap in the face. Many of us have not stopped asking ourselves what did the president and everybody else for that matter expect us to do?”

    Marohomsalic then continued with her narration of how the siege started out from just a mere rumor disregarded by the Marawi citizens, including the authority. Acknowledging her own shortcomings with regards to the issue, Marohomsalic wrote that:

    “I first heard of the rumor of these young "ISIS wannabes" in Lanao del sur 5 years ago in one of these FB groups. We of course didn't believe him. When I came back home i found it to be true. They were handing out pamphlets and aggressively recruiting. Did I do something? No. Other than advise relatives not to believe them. Nothing much. Did it occur to me to inform the authorities? What for? They already knew their existence even before many of us did."

    The negligence continued. Marhomsalic further claimed that the rumors about the prospect terror scheme is an “open secret” which gained no appropriate and legitimate response from the citizens. Not even from the government troops from the Marawi and from its neighboring cities.

    “Everybody's talking about it, it was an open secret. It was like a dog poop that every passerby could smell and does nothing except inform others there's a dog poop somewhere. Tread carefully or avoid it. Should I have singlehandedly tackled the poop? Certainly not! By doing nothing does that make me a sympathizer or a protector then? We didn't even want to engage them in debates for the stink might get into our clothes.”

    Marohomsalic then continued narrating about the initial attacks plotted by the Maute’s which started from Butig, to Piagapo, up until Marawi. Still, Marohomsalic said she was not concerned at all. She just hoped that the terrorism would stop in Piagapo but she never dared, just like anyone else, to take action.

    “Then that battle in Butig happened. But it's happening somewhere there. I couldn't even hear the gunshots. Oh poor bakwits! I hear the Mautes got away. Did I even ask where they burrowed? No. Then I heard they're battling it out again in Piagapo. Oh dear! It's getting closer. Hope it ends there. But it didn't.”

    Until the day of reckoning came. Marohomsalic, then unconvinced about the terror-spreading text messages which was relayed through her by their garbage collector was basically caught off-guard when the actual Marawi siege by the Mautes sprang up.

    “Two weeks before they took Marawi I received a text message from the kind man who collects our garbage warning us of the Maute group's plan. I deleted it right away. Who believes these terror-spreading text messages? I didn't believe it until I was trapped in the clinic amidst sporadic gunfires and peeping through the window seeing 4 armed men. I wasn't scared until I peeped again and a soldier pointed his gun at me. Then I thought it's going to be over soon until i had to spend the night watching Marawi burn and listening to the gunfires and the 'bombs' so loud it shook the building,” Marohomsalic described.

    Asserting that it is their fault as citizens of Marawi, Marohomsalic acknowledged that everything began because people lack social accountability. They have been guilty of negligence, or taking action only when everything’s too late.

    “Now we are all bakwits and the city continues to burn. Is this our fault as a people and do we deserve it? What we are guilty of is our lack of social accountability. As long as it does not affect us directly we don't mind it. It's like the garbage we take from our houses then dumped on the street. We don't care until it blocked the drainage and caused flood. When the flood subsides we forgot what we're supposed to do. Until it rains heavily again.”

    Marohomsalic then expressed her gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte who, despite his “anger” to the Marawi citizens, managed to devote his full focus and attention to finally put an end to these acts of terrorism masterminded by the Mautes. 

    “I know Mr President you are angry because we care less about our city and at oûr leadeŕs for failing to control the proliferation of this group. Now you have to burn our city to put an end to this group and so the rest of Mindanao will feel safe. Thank you Mr President and I pray you do.”

    Marohomsalic even shared in her post, how Duterte reminds her of an uncle who taught her significant lesson in life.

    “You [referring to Duterte] reminded me of an uncle whose idea of "toilet-training" our cat is to grab the cat by its head and push it's face on it's own poop so it won't do it again. We learned the lesson. In shaa Allah we will all help rebuild Marawi again.”

    The lesson underscored in this specific Facebook post by Farina Marohomsalic was the cliché proverb which states "Too see is to believe”. Following the same precept, Marohomsalic wrote in her post that:

    “Nobody believed it was going to happen until it did.”

    Source: Farina Marohomsalic | Facebook
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