Is the fighting over for good? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 October 2017 12:04

Remedios  F. Marmoleño

It was good news to know that the fighting in Marawi was over, but it was  an anticlimax  because previously the authorities had made announcements that on such a date the fighting would end. And a number of dates had been mentioned but the fighting continued anyway. This time I hope the fighting has finally come to its end.

The photos of Marawi that I saw on the Internet were really pitiful. The bombed out buildings reminded me of photos I have seen in the cable news of cities in Iraq and Afghanistan. If I found these scenes disturbing how much more disturbing it was for me to know that these scenes were not in  Iraq  but right here in Mindanao. Marawi residents must feel even more pained than I am.

Some analysts have been quoted as saying  that  the guns in Marawi may have gone silent for now but that we should not hold our breaths for things are likely to flare up again. And that is the point that I have been turning over in my mind.

Our government has said that with the fighting over the next phase that it will undertake is the rebuilding of Marawi, which is estimated to cost billions of  pesos. If the fighting had not taken place and the razing of the city had not taken place that amount of  several  billions  could  have been applied to improving the life of the people who live in Marawi.

I have not been to Marawi at all but I can imagine that even a  billion pesos can do a lot of good for the city if applied effectively to a city that had not been bombed out. Think of roads and bridges, schools, markets, funding start-up businesses, improving utilities services, providing scholarships so more can benefit from education beyond the elementary level. Now these “needs” will have to take a backseat relative to the more urgent need for restoring infrastructures  that had been destroyed in the war.

If the shooting has stopped can we really say that there will be no more shooting, no more fighting, from this day onward? If our government has stopped the attackers at this point, can we safely say that these same group will not try again? Will the agenda that led to the attack in the first place be set aside? Or should we just  consider this a lull in the overall plan of things?

As has been said so often , no one side really wins a war. When will people truly realize this?