Marawi residents hold peace rally ahead of visit to 'ground zero'

Che Tanate-Verendia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2018 03:26 PM | Updated as of Jan 03 2019 08:55 PM

MARAWI CITY - Hundreds of residents gathered at the Kilometer Zero marker near the Marawi City hall Friday morning for a peace rally ahead of their scheduled visit to the war-torn areas.

The group marched aiming to reach an area near ground zero before noon but were blocked by policemen near the city hall, raising the tension between the two camps.

An altercation happened when some participants tried to push through the barricade.

After negotiations, Lt. Col. Jason Jumawan, the commanding officer of an Army unit, allowed the group to proceed but only up to a certain point.

Abdul Hamidullah Atar, sultan of Marawi, said they wanted to offer prayers for those killed inside ground zero.

He hopes the government will heed to their appeal that Marawi rehabilitation will be IDP-centered and they will be allowed to return home to rebuild their lives.

Hundreds of Marawi residents troop to the city's Kilometer Zero marker for a peace rally. McDonald Fajardo, ABS-CBN News

Hundreds of Marawi residents troop to the city's Kilometer Zero marker for a peace rally. McDonald Fajardo, ABS-CBN News

Hundreds of Marawi residents troop to the city's Kilometer Zero marker for a peace rally. McDonald Fajardo, ABS-CBN News

Hundreds of Marawi residents troop to the city's Kilometer Zero marker for a peace rally. McDonald Fajardo, ABS-CBN News

Hundreds of Marawi residents troop to the city's Kilometer Zero marker for a peace rally. McDonald Fajardo, ABS-CBN News

Residents hold placards urging the government to let them be involved in the rebuilding of Marawi City. Jamalodin Basman Mohammad

Residents hold placards urging the government to let them be involved in the rebuilding of Marawi City. Jamalodin Basman Mohammad

Residents hold placards urging the government to let them be involved in the rebuilding of Marawi City. Jamalodin Basman Mohammad

Residents hold placards urging the government to let them be involved in the rebuilding of Marawi City. Jamalodin Basman Mohammad

Residents hold placards urging the government to let them be involved in the rebuilding of Marawi City. Jamalodin Basman Mohammad

People are barred from entering the main battle area without permission from the authorities.

The once-bustling city was reduced to rubble after the months-long fighting between government forces and Islamic State-inspired terrorists.

The Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, headed by Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, is the lead agency of Task Force Bangon Marawi.