ILIGAN – Photos and videos of hundreds of stranded students and faculty of a state university in Marawi City were sent to ABS-CBN in a desperate call for rescue.
This, after Maute fighters fought government troops in a deadly clash inside the city.
Photos sent by Mary Jane Gotostos Zozobrado showed students spending the night in a holding area inside the campus while waiting for transport.
Some stayed in line outside while others got lucky and chanced upon public transportation heading to Iligan.
“We chanced upon a jeepney while on our way to a makeshift ladies dormitory-turned-evac center in MSU campus. There, students and faculty swarmed to list down their names for a coordinated transport system that has not yet arrived. This, however, was an instant opportunity. Men had to stay atop the jeepney while the ladies are inside. A P50 ride was all our hope could afford,” Joseph Josh Ajero said.
In a phone interview, student leader Jabar Mangadiri said there are not enough public transportation vehicles to evacuate the students. He said the transportation provided by the university is also insufficient.
Mangandiri said the university already provided relief goods but noted that provisions would soon run out. Commercial establishments remain closed for three days now.
The Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office have already commissioned buses to get the evacuees but could only go as far as Abaga in Baloi town, approximately 18 kilometers from Marawi.
The exodus of evacuees has also caused heavy traffic in roads leading to Iligan for three consecutive days now.