Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) other Makabayan bloc party-lists have filed a House resolution seeking an inquiry on the Marawi crisis, saying heads must roll over the mass displacement of Maranao families currently cramped in evacuation centers amid the Mindanao-wide martial law declaration.
Speaking at a media briefing today, GWP Rep. Arlene Brosas said they are urging colleagues at the House of Representatives via House Resolution 1085 to look into the humanitarian crisis in Marawi City, specifically on the impacts on women and children.
“As member of the humanitarian mission to Lanao del Norte and Sur, I have personally heard accounts of families who sent daughters to evacuation centers due to fear of being raped by members of the AFP following President Duterte’s rape joke in his speech in Iligan City,” Rep. Brosas said.
“We also want to seek accountability over the reported deaths and lack of adequate supplies and facilities in evacuation areas, which are potential areas for more rights violations against women and children. A larger number of families are staying outside evacuation centers and are dispersed in nearby towns. These reports should not be simply swept under the rug amid the ongoing military offensive in Marawi City,” she added.
Citing the latest data from the DSWD, GWP said 20,049 families or 100,530 persons are affected by the fighting between government troops and the Maute terrorist group in Marawi City, with over 17,000 families staying outside evacuation centers in Region X and the ARMM.
Rep. Brosas, together with Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and other human rights advocates, flew to Mindanao last week for the National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission (NIHM) but were denied entry to Marawi City by the military.
“It is clear from the accounts of those in evacuation centers that the military airstrikes and indiscriminate firing of government troops have forced them to flee Marawi City. Carpet bombing, as what President Duterte recently hinted, will only worsen the suffering of Maranao people and will result in more losses of innocent lives,” Brosas said.
“We reiterate our call to President Duterte to immediately order an end to the aerial bombing and lift the martial law declaration in Mindanao,” she added. #