Last May 23, 2017, early in the afternoon, an armed group of men called the Maute Group attacked Marawi, a city in Mindanao, south of the Philippines. The group was founded by two Muslim brothers Abdullah and Omar Maute, and claim that they are part of the ISIS.
The attack resulted in the destruction and burning of homes, churches, hospital and schools. Several civilians were also killed and even beheaded by the rebels during the attack. The President has declared Martial Law for the entire Island of Mindano.
The Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police have taken over some parts of Marawi which were occupied by the Maute Group but the shooting and airstrikes went on. An estimated number of around 100 people have been confirmed dead. Among the fatalities were the members of the rebel groups, civilians and government troops.
The city has an estimated population of around 200,000 people, most of the people from Marawi have already left their homes and evacuated to nearby cities and towns like Balo-I, Saguiaran, Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City. There are still around 2,000 civilians who are still trapped in the besieged communities of Marawi City. Thousands of families are now in the evacuation centers and are now dependent on relief goods and humanitarian aid.
With the ongoing crisis in Marawi City, De La Salle Philippines (DLSP) launched a relief operation for the Marawi evacuees in coordination with La Salle Academy (LSA) in Iligan City, one of our schools in Mindanao. Iligan City is estimated to be 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from Marawi City.
DLSP has been calling other school communities in the Philippines to support the relief operations. Currently, LSA has been receiving donations, most of which are cash donations from different school communities and lay partners. The school has been working closely with the Roman C a t h o l i c C h u r c h t h r o u g h t h e Diocese of Iligan and the local government in transporting the relief goods to the evacuation centers.
LSA has sent relief goods (which include mats, blankets, towels, water etc.) to 2 evacuation centers in Iligan City. Spearheaded by the Social Action Office of LSA, students and alumni of the school gathered as volunteers for the repacking of goods from May 31- June 2. On June 3 (Saturday),
3,040 food packs and toiletries were delivered to the town of Saguiaran, which is 5 kilometers (3 miles) away from Marawi City. A t o t a l o f 5 , 0 0 0 f a m i l i e s w h o evacuated Marawi are currently in the town of Saguiaran.
De La Salle Philippines together with La Salle Academy are still in need of cash and kind donations in sustaining the relief operations. Cash donations could be sent through the following account:
Account Name: La Salle Academy Inc.
Account Number: BPI-Iligan 009353-0377-62
We would like to thank all La Salle Schools and Lasallian Partners who quickly responded with their donations and support during the relief operations. We would also like to acknowledge the local government of the Municipality of Saguiran and the Young Moro Professional Network in coordinating with us in safely delivering the goods to the evacuation centers. Meanwhile, we continue to ask for your personal prayers for the victims of the crisis especially for those who passed away during the conflict. We also pray for a peaceful resolution of the Marawi crisis and for a lasting peace in Mindanao.