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Maranaw family seek justice for death of misunderstood” clan leader

 • 21:48 PM Mon Apr 4, 2016
John Unson
Marawi City, a city by the lake

MARAWI CITY --- The grief besetting the family of a Maranaw community elder killed here by gunmen last December is continuing owing to the failure of authorities to prosecute his killers.Local officials said the victim, Otical Awar, was known for his influence over thousands of registered voters in certain villages in Marawi City. Contrary to assertions by certain groups, he was never a drug lord or was involved in drug trafficking activities,” said a friend who asked to be named only as Faisal.He said Awar was so misunderstood.” He did not elaborate, however. There was no truth to stories stating he was involved in drug trafficking activities,” seconded a neighbor.Awar was killed by pistol wielding suspects on New Year’s Eve last year.Relatives had said he was a helpful man, who shelled out personal money for the medication of sick neighbors and for fitra” (piety offering) during the Ramadhan season.Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for one lunar cycle during the Ramadhan as a religious obligation, a month-long process also meant to inculcate among believers the importance of self-restraint to achieve spiritual perfection. He fasted religiously during the Ramadhan seasons when he was still alive,” said a cousin.A senior official of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said Awar belong to a clan protective of relatives, regardless of one another’s status in life. Men in the clan, as a sign of respect and cordiality, kiss each other on the check whenever they meet,” the ARMM official said.Awar, according to friends, among them employees of government offices in Marawi City, had not been convicted of any crime at all. He was friendly and fatherly to his friends and neighbors,” another relative said.Relatives said they feel miserably at loss by their failure to achieve justice for Awar’s death. His killers remained unknown and are all scot-free. He was so misunderstood,” We are still grieving over his untimely death,” said a long-time friend who is engaged in transportation business.

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