By Ali G. Macabalang,
Yas D. Ocampo, Nonoy E. Lacson,
Camcer Ordonez Imam, and Mike U. Crismundo
Marawi City — An appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte in the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) resigned Monday allegedly over the worsening human crisis resulting from the fighting between government forces and local terror militants for control of the lone Islamic city.
BTC Commissioner Samira Gutoc-Tomawis bade goodbye to her colleagues currently wrapping up efforts in crafting an “inclusive” Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) bill that the President wanted to receive and review before his July 24 State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA), sources told The Manila Bulletin Monday night.
Gutoc-Tomawis, a former journalist and prominent resident of this embattled city, could not be reached through her mobile phone Monday night for confirmation.
But Bulletin sources said the lady official “informed already” BTC Chairman Ghadzali Jaafar about her decision.
The lady official’s resignation followed protests, mostly from female dignitaries, against a purported joke on Saturday by the President to support security forces’ anti-terror actions.
Authorities said 90 percent of the city’s 201,700 residents have abandoned their homes in most of the 96 barangays, with only four zones remaining inhabited: The provincial government compound at Buadi-Sacayo village, the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade headquarters nearby, the provincial police office, and the adjacent main campus of the Mindanao State University (MSU).
The continued fighting between government forces and local terrorists here has already displaced 84,460 residents in what authorities of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) feared to drag on with “immense sufferings even after the end of the siege.”
In its meeting in Cotabato City Monday, the ARMM crisis management committee (CMC) also reported that at least 3,717 individuals were still stranded in different suburbs here while 59 others are “missing.”
IDPs rescued, 14 bodies retrieved
Authorities have recently rescued more than 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in a village here, bringing to 69,853 individuals or 14,699 families rescued since fighting between the military and a local terror group started.
Maj. Abdullah Mocsona, Philippine Army’s Civil-Military Operations officer, 103rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based in Kampo Ranao, here, said the civilians were picked up by joint rescue teams from the AFP-PNP-ICRC in Barangay Datu Saber Monday morning, and brought to an evacuation center in Iligan City after having been processed for proper identification.
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