By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — On Tuesday, Senate Bill No. 2420, or the Marawi Siege Compensation Act, was approved on second reading.
“We thank our colleagues for passing this bill on second reading. We need this to give social justice to the victims of the Marawi siege,” said Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, principal author and co-sponsor of the bill.
“The fact of the matter is, when you go to Marawi and Lanao del Sur, many of our kababayans there are still without homes, and still have no means of renovating or rebuilding their homes that were destroyed in the siege.”
In 2018, Zubiri also authored and sponsored the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law, in response to the Marawi Siege.
“We saw that if we did not address the concerns of just and lasting peace and social justice for our brothers and sisters in Muslim Mindanao, these acts of terrorism would keep happening in other cities later on.”
“And in response to the siege, and the terrorism that our people were facing in Muslim Mindanao, we legislators all came together—minority and majority, no political color—to pass one of the more difficult measures that this chamber has seen, but I would also say one of the best, as we put so many game-changers in it, particularly on the management and governance of the autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao.”
“And they have been doing a very good job. I was told that for the first time, maraming pera ang BARMM, unlike before. And they have prioritized important projects for the people, such as municipal buildings, day care centers, and health centers.”
The Marawi Siege Compensation Act creates a Marawi Compensation Board to facilitate the tax-free payment of reparations to persons displaced by the Marawi Siege.
“With the BOL and the Marawi Compensation Act, we are giving our brothers and sisters in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region the tools and mechanisms that they need in order to truly recover. Makakatanggap na sila ng just compensation or financial assistance para matulungan silang makabangon muli galing sa bangungot na nangyari sa kanila.” (ai/mtvn)