THERE are all sorts of conspiracy theories relative to the Marawi Siege, but while most of them are mere speculations and even propaganda, this one is true and can never be belied: conspiracy of kindness.

As in any crisis in the Philippines as of late, humanitarian aid and sentiments of support from all sectors of Philippine society are pouring into Marawi City.

The spread of such sentiments of support and compassion has become more pronounced these days because of the power of social media.

There is a difference, however, in providing support to people during or in the aftermath of natural disasters as against bringing aid to victims and combatants during sieges or similar armed conflicts.

In the latter, there are more risks involving personal safety, such as the high probability of getting hit, wounded or even killed by stray bullets, being trapped in difficult situations, or being taken hostage.

These days, social media networking has made it a lot easier and less costly to bring help without the attendant risks.

I learned this from personal experience when some of my friends, with whom I most oftentimes correspond through social media, were asking how and where they could send help for the displaced people of Marawi and for our soldiers there.

I’ll give you an example. When Elithe Casey sent her P3,000 donation from the US through money transfer, in a few minutes she provided me the required control number. I claimed the money from a Western Union branch in Lamitan City, Basilan and, minus a few pesos for the documentary stamp tax, right then and there sent the amount to Maria Quicel Labaro-Abella, a daughter of a childhood friend, who is based in Cagayan de Oro City and who possesses the same passion to help.

Out of the money, Quicel bought more or less 10 boxes of Nature’s Spring mineral water and, together with her engineer husband and their little son, went all the way to Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental, which is perhaps the main hub or the pickup point of relief goods going to Marawi and other affected areas and personally witnessed the goods, along with other relief goods their organization is sending, being hauled into KM35 military trucks.

I believe that what gets things easier and faster is finding the right person with a similar passion to help, those who are willing to conspire in kindness to make life better or more bearable for other people. BEEN THERE THAN THAT/JOSEPHINE CODILLA


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