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Marawi on one’s mind


By Leandro DD Coronel

Leandro DD Coronel

Leandro DD Coronel

I don’t know Marawi City at all.

But one doesn’t have to know Marawi or be from there to grieve with that luckless city’s residents.

For all intents and purposes, there is no longer a Marawi City. It’s been wiped off the face of the earth.

What it is, is a skeleton of what it once was, a mere shadow of its old self, now just a wraith, an apparition, a memory.

Pity the people of Marawi City.

The city’s residents are aching to go back to their homes now that the Maute have been pushed back.

What homes?

What they would be going back to are just memories, images of their old lives there, remembrances of things past, to borrow from Proust.

They laid siege to a once proud city and leveled it to the ground. Now there’s nothing but rubble. What do you do with rubble? There’s no way to bring back the old city. At best just a replica. As I say above, Marawi City is now just a memory.

What happened to Marawi City?

Ambitious fanatics wanted it for themselves. The residents were helpless. The army came to the rescue.

With that, a lot of bluster from the leadership: “One week lang, tapos na ‘yan.”

One week came and went. Another week. And another.

The weeks became months. All in all, it took five months before the government could declare the siege on Marawi over. That’s a lot longer than “one week.”

One hundred sixty-three soldiers and policemen died and 1,400 wounded. Sixty government forces are missing, while 47 civilians were killed. Eight hundred forty-seven Maute were killed.

Marawi City used to have 200,000 residents. How many of them will or can go back to their former homes? There’s nothing to go back to.

Now that the battle of Marawi City is over as announced by the government, questions must be asked? Did the military use the right strategy to fight the Maute? Were the bombings all over the city the right kind of offensive to destroy the Maute?

I’ve not written about Marawi until now because I didn’t want to appear to undermine the government side by asking these questions.

Did the government win? Did the Maute lose? Actually, there’s only one side that’s important, that of the residents of Marawi City.

There’s never a winner in a war. As the perceptive current affairs observer Philip Lustre Jr. says, if the government won, it was but a Pyrrhic victory because of its cost: in lives, property and war resources.

What is clear is that the people of Marawi are the losers in the battle of Marawi City. The place is in such total devastation that it will take decades to rebuild it. And it will take a lot longer than that to rebuild the people of Marawi’s lives.

Marawi is on one’s mind. With the people of Marawi, one grieves.


Tantrum Ergo. Was bombing Marawi City like burning a whole house to get rid of the mice?

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  • Jonas

    Eh di dapat pala sana, sir, naging strategist kayo ng AFP. Mas magaling pa ata kayo sa kanila… Madali naman kasing mga scrutinize kaysa sa mga nandun sa actual na bakbakan… Mas madali pong bumunganga at magsulat kaysa sa makipag-gyera at magpakamatay dun… Next time po, tumakbo ka ng Presidente para kaw mamuno, baka sakaling mas magaling pa kayo… Tang ina mo!

  • Melenggay Laranery

    To kill 800 + rebels, Duterte leveled the entire city to the ground. Just imagine if he has a nuke….for one ant – he will nuke the entire nation.

    • general problem

      so you prefer that those 800 terrorist will be the kings of Marawi and implement their will to the 200k population of the city implementing their radical laws…SALOT NG LIPUNAN like you should be exterminated at once!!!

  • Bobby Angle

    Okay, we agree that the Marawi residents were the biggest losers here having lost their home and livelihood. So what do you suppose should have happened instead to get rid of the Maute rebels? Even the Americans would be destroying building structures in their battles against terrorism. Yes, the Marawi residents lost a lot. But don’t blame our armed forces for doing their jobs to defend the people from rebels who want to be in power through fear.

  • Jonathan Dantes

    I noticed something, everytime i read your articles – it is pure negativity. Do you have any sense of unity within you? Or at least fairness.

    We may not like this administration much, but surely you can write something good about them. Unless we stand that they are always wrong and we are always right.

  • general problem

    Coronel, sabihan mo ang kapwa mo SALOT ng LIPUNAN na itigil na nila ang pagkakalat na SALOT sa bansang ito…yun lang ang tanging paraan para umunlad tyo