From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 20): Authorities start to secure homes cleared by military in Marawi
With resistance from terrorist Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group declining in Marawi City, authorities have started securing abandoned houses and commercial establishments already cleared of lawless elements by government forces.
Salma Jayne Tamano, Lanao del Sur provincial information officer, said in a phone interview Tuesday that Lanao del Sur Gov. Soraya Alonto-Adiong has coordinated with the military and the police to close ranks with local government unit to save whatever left in the houses and buildings the Maute and Abu Sayyaf gunmen looted during the siege.
”This is to ensure that properties and valuables left by Marawi residents could be salvaged from looters and robbers,” Tamano said.
“After thorough inspection by clearing units of the Army and PNP, the gates of residential compounds and the doors of houses and establishments in areas subjected to the security mission were padlocked complete with documentation to ensure transparency,” Tamano said in a phone interview.
Led by the Provincial Security Force (PSF), the padlocking mission was documented by video and still photos,” she added.
The conflict that started on May 23 destroyed at least five villages within the city’s commercial and residential areas. Among the structures destroyed by the terrorists were a Catholic Church, a Catholic College and several ancestral homes of known Maranao clans.
Tamano said once clearing operations are over and the military issued the green light for residents to return, civilians will be allowed to visit their homes.
The United Nations Development Programme is helping the provincial government in the restoration.
Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, spokesperson of the Lanao del Sur provincial crisis committee, lauded the UNDP, International Committee of the Red Cross and other national and international organizations for helping Marawi slowly rise up from the rubbles of war.