As the country commemorated the first year of the Marawi siege, non-government organization, International Alert Philippines, launched on Thursday the “Maratabat: Mga Kuwento ng Kagitingan sa Marawi” documentary to honor the unsung heroes in the battle.
The video tackles the story of a “Suicide Squad”, a group of about 30 individuals who apparently risked their lives to help save people during the Marawi siege, reportedly wearing little protection, such as construction helmets.
International Alert Philippines claimed that the “Suicide Squad” was able to save about 1,800 people during the war.
“The video also highlights stories of Muslims protecting Christians from being captured by terrorists,” , the group’s advocacy head, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) recently.
Capili explained that the video highlights the work of the unsung heroes, as well as the power of local responses, despite differences in faith, ethnicity, and identity.
“The ‘Suicide Squad’ are ordinary people who, fueled by their sense of honor, risked their lives to protect Marawi’s most vulnerable in the face of unprecedented adversity,” she said.
Capili also noted that the documentary “explores the importance of local knowledge and context-relevant responses, especially when the rebuilding of the Islamic city commenced.”
According to her, the Maranao’s “maratabat” or sense of honor has been negatively portrayed as one of the reasons behind the continuous clan feud in Lanao del Sur.
“The experiences during the Marawi siege have shown that it was this deep sense of pride that fueled ordinary people to risk their lives to save others, whether they are their family or not,” Capili said.
“It is also this ‘maratabat’ that can sustain collective effort in rebuilding Marawi City,” she added.
The documentary took six months to produce — from writing, interviews, editing and launching.
The video used raw footages taken by members of the “Suicide Squad”, according to Capili. Other video shoots and archive footages were from Digital 8 Productions.
International Alert Philippines produced the documentary with support from the Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The public can view the documentary at the International Alert Philippines and News5’s websites. PNA