On the 23rd of May 2017, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police conducted operations to capture Isnilon Hapilon, leader of the Abu Sayyaf Group, in Marawi after receiving reports that he would be meeting the Maute Group there. Armed clashes began when Hapilon’s forces fired on government forces, sparking a five month long siege. The scale of destruction and devastation as a result of the siege was catastrophic. It claimed the lives of over 1,000 people, displaced 350,000 and physically and psychologically injured many more. Moreover, the battle left the city in ruins and it is estimated that 95% of the city was damaged, with over 3,000 buildings completely destroyed, 900 heavily damaged and 1200 structures partially damaged.
The objective of this report is to collect the opinions, desires and challenges of the survivors in order to share their desire for the reconstruction of Marawi and their eventual return home. It is crucial that the government quickly take action, as a number of survivors are living in evacuation centres with little to no job opportunities, schools, and medical services, leaving many vulnerable and possibly susceptible to extremist ideologies.