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Marawi is dubbed "Islamic City" and Last Frontier of Islamic Civilization in the Philippines.

The Maranaos are the most highly educated in both religion and western education and wealthiest Muslim community. They have the best lake and climate in the world. Lake Lanao is the source of power and electricity of two-thirds of Mindanao. They hold many government positions. And they have good business establishments, big or small, around the country,

But the Maranao Homeland is the poorest province in the country. And why? Who is to blame?

If it was the poorest before its devastation, how poor it is now that war is continuously destroying it?

Our present Maranao leaders, perhaps, are doing their best to uplift the socio-economic condition of their people and, at this, most crucial time, to help minimize the damages to Maranao lives and properties as results of this unwanted devastating conflict perpetrators by terrorists.

But I believe their best is not enough to address all these problems as Maranaos.

I believe that what we need is a strong leadership whom we can rally with to save the Maranao Race. For what is happening to us may pave the way to our annihilation as a people.

He must be brave, courageous, determined and willing to sacrifice.

He should not be an agent of Zionism or asset of imperialism.

He must be a true Muslim Maranao whose word is dependable and reliable.

What I see and who I meet now are assuming to possess the above qualities, but in fact, they are not. They are talkative and working for their personal interest at the expense of the common Maranao and capitalizing the Marawi crisis.

(Mas Yahya)

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