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Mindanao LGUs bring home students after blast; Marawi extends help

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 10:30 AM Mon Dec 4, 2023
Nef Luczon and Leah Agonoy/PNA
ONE MSU. Faculty, students, and staff volunteer to prepare food packs for the students staying in dormitories at the MSU Main Campus in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Maruhom-Jalaluddin Ronsing)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Some local government units (LGUs) in Mindanao on Sunday extended their support to their residents studying at Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

After the MSU Marawi campus suspended classes following an explosion that killed four and injured 50 people, several students sought assistance for transportation back to their hometowns.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the MSU Emergency Task Force said they were coordinating with police and military authorities, as well as meeting with Marawi CDRMMO and the provincial government, as it emphasized there were no recommendations for campus lockdown and evacuation of students.

"We urge the university constituents to remain calm but cautious. We urge the students to remain in their dormitories, boarding houses, and homes inside the campus until further notice," the Task Force said.

Iligan City Mayor Frederick Siao ordered the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) to provide vehicles to assist students out of the campus.

"All students can take the ride even non-residents of Iligan," he said.

The first batch of 60 students arrived in Iligan City past 3 p.m. and were given initial relief by the City Social Welfare and Development.

Siao also issued an executive order setting up checkpoints on key highways in Iligan.

Mayor Rolando Uy of this city, meanwhile, tasked its CDRRMO to dispatch a team to get students bound for the city and nearby towns.

Mayor Lemuel Meyrick Acosta of Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental said there were 42 students expected to be brought home.

Misamis Occidental Governor Henry Oaminal Sr. also mobilized transportation to evacuate students with two buses on standby.

The municipalities of Wao, Lanao del Sur and Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental are also coordinating with students wishing to be brought home.

The province of Zamboanga del Sur responded to a post on social media from a student who was requesting to be transported back home.

Support System

In the aftermath of the blast, the campus community and Marawi City residents also provided relief.

Maruhom-Jalaluddin Ronsing, Education Program Specialist of MSU Shariah Center, shared photographs of faculty, staff, and students volunteering to prepare food for those who remained on the campus and inside their dormitories.

Business owners also offered free food to MSU students afraid to come out, while other residents offered their homes as temporary refuge.

Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said the incident should not be allowed to undermine the good relationship that exists between Muslim and Christian communities in the city.

"Our city has long been a beacon of peaceful coexistence and harmony, and we will not allow such acts of violence to overshadow our collective commitment to peace and unity," he said.

Gandamra also urged the public to exercise caution and refrain from spreading unverified information about the incident.

He said the public must rely on official reports from the authorities to obtain accurate information.

Lanao del Sur 1st District Rep. Ziaur-Rahman Alonto-Adiong said its office would extend medical assistance to the injured victims.

"We will work closely with the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to sort this out and arrest the perpetrators behind this barbaric attack," he said. (PNA)

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