Despite soldiers risking their lives and those who faced their deaths first in the clashes for Marawi City siege, a group of lawyers in Lanao del Sur accused them of ransacking houses in the city.
Insulted by their accusations, a soldier stepped up, daring the lawyers to file lawsuits against all of them. He also asked them if there were money and jewelries found hidden on the dead bodies of their comrades.
Read his message them below:
“Kasuhan nyo ang mga kasama naming namatay para sa Marawi. Isama nyo na kami lahat kasama ang mga kabaro namin na taga Marawi rin. At pag nakulong kami, kayo ng bahala sa Bayan natin. Kasi po saan ilalagay ng troapa ang pera at alahas? Sa bulsa at combat pack? Pano kapag na-snipe or ma Killed-In-Action ang tropa tapos may ganun sa bulsa at pack? Nakakahiya yun! Meron naba sa mga namatay naming kasama ang may pera at alahas sa bulsa ng marecover ang katawan nila? Kaharap mo na nga si kamatayan, magnanakaw ka pa ba? Edi magcheckpoint din kayo at icheck nyo mga gamit ng tropa namin. Bat di nyo sabihin yan sa mga Maute Friends (nyo) Yan ba ang gusto nyo?” #MauteArmedForces Ryan Delgado Layug
“Binabaliktad ang pangyayari. Malamang ang mga lawyers na ito ay kasabwat sa mga terorista at malaking yaman ang mawawala kung ito ay mapupunta sa gobyerno. Yamang nakadeklara ang martial law at suspendido ang writ of habeas corpus dapat ang mga ito imbistigahan at kung kinakailangan ikulong sa malamig na rehas”
According to the lawyers, although they support and recognized President Rodrigo Duterte’s martial law in Mindanao to solve the problem, they are still concerned of what Marawi City would become when all is done.
“While we fervently pray and desire for the government to restore peace and order in the city and return to our homes as soon as possible, we also passionately appeal to the wisdom of the President to avoid turning our beloved Marawi into a city of ashes and embers,” said Meno Macalandap in a statement, who is the president of Integrated Bar of the Philippines Lanao chapter.
He said that the “horrific chain of events” which started on May 23 when the clashes began, were unforgivable for these did not only destroyed infrastructures but also caused massive displacements.
“While the residents of Marawi City are relieved that the military has taken charge to overcome the Maute Group and make the city safe again, there is growing concern about the military’s “surgical airstrikes” which continues to destroy several buildings and homes of innocent civilians,” Macalandap said. He also added that IBP Lanao de Sur are concerned about “reports of callous military men who disregard human rights and who destroy or take away random properties of civilians in conducting its house-to-house searches.”
The group also appealed to the government stating that the military troops should implement actions that will not damage properties and to consider lives of innocent civilians. They also stated that the IBP is willing to help victims of abuse from military personnels, reminding them to avoid “unnecessary harassment of civilians in implementing precautionary measures.”
“We appeal to the government to implement its military actions in a manner that will minimize damage to property and with due consideration of the rights of innocent civilians caught in the warzone,” Macalandap stated.
“We remind our men in uniform that any person taken into custody for invasion or rebellion should be released after three (3) days if no charge has been filed against him. We call on the people to respect the Martial Law declaration and to cooperate with authorities in the implementation of additional, albeit inconvenient, safety measures,” Macalandap added.
The Maranao lawyers also sent a separate letters to the president where they wrote, “to use a milder term, by sheer magnitude of wanton disregard of sanctity of domicile, the right against deprivation of property without due process of law, the right to be secure in one’s person, house, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures and the privacy of communication and correspondence of innocent civilians committed by AFP and PNP who take pride of being the protector of the people.”
But conflicting their accusations, the government troops have displayed acts of honesty when soldiers surrendered cash and checks amounting to almost P80 million to higher authorities which they retrieved in a hideout of the Maute group.