Teacher recalls escape from Marawi, seeks help for her return to Cebu
FATIMA Ampaso, a Madrasah Education Program (teacher) teaching Muslim and non-Muslim leaders in Cebu City, recalled her and her family’s harrowing escape from the armed conflict in her hometown in Marawi City and her desire to return to Cebu City to continue her teaching chores.
Ampaso said that they were able to escape Marawi City on May 24, a day after the war broke out.
They walked from 8 a.m. in Marawi City and arrived Iligan City at 10 p.m. on May 24.
Ampaso said she could still remember the presence of Maute Group members in their barangay wearing all black.
“Narinig pa namin na tinawag nila yung ibang kasamahan nila kasi yung layo nila mga limang bahay lang ang layo sa amin (We heard them calling other members of their group. Our distance is just five houses away from them),” Ampaso told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
Ampaso, who is a MEP teacher for 11 years in Cebu City, also relayed her desire to return to Cebu as she is one of the 10 Muslim teachers assigned in Cebu City who is still stranded in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.
“I really want to go back to Cebu City. My job is also there,” Ampaso told Cebu Daily News.
She cited the lack of financial resources as one of the reasons why they had the hard time going back to Cebu City since their source of income is also here.
“Of course we also need to plan how to get back in Cebu City. Everything is paid there even our house in Barangay Basa (Cebu City). We are paying P3,500,” she added.
Ampaso earns P6,500 per month teaching Arabic language and Islamic values subjects.
Her 42-year-old husband, Muhammad Natangcop is engaged into a small trading business in Cebu City.
Her seven other siblings and father are staying in Iligan City, hoping that the Marawi siege will end soon.
In Iligan, she said they were relying on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-7) relief packs.
The relief goods contain five kilos of rice, 3 cans of corned beef, 3 cans of sardines and six sachets of coffee.
She said that these relief packs are only good for three days for their family.
Meanwhile, Leah Quintana, DSWD-7 information officer, said the government relief agency has already shipped 95, 200 relief packs to Region 10, specifically Marawi City, in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro where most of the evacuees temporarily reside.
Yesterday, another six wing-vans loaded with 10,200 packs of relief supply were sent to Mindanao.
Each pack contains 6 kilos of rice, (halal) 4 canned meat, 4 canned fish/sardines and 4 sachets of coffee.
DSWD-7 has been sending relief packs to Region 10, since May 25.
Quintana said their office was thankful to the students who did volunteer work yesterday instead of going elsewhere since its a holiday.
Among yesterday’s student volunteers was Christel Amit, a graduating student of Mandaue City College, who said she volunteered because she wanted to help the victims even in the simple way of repacking goods.
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