by Christine F. Godinez Ortega, Office of Publication & Information (OPI)
MSU-IIT opens gates to MSU-Marawi student evacuees; no vehicles allowed inside campus
The MSU-IIT agreed to temporarily house MSU student evacuees only, said Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol during today’s Campus Academic Planning Committee (APC) meeting at the Boardroom.
Parents accompanying the student evacuees must proceed to the School of Fisheries in Buruun Iligan City and coordinate with the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
The decision was concurred in by the Deans and Directors and the Student Government KASAMA President Jhon Alter Ortiz.
“It is our obligation to help students, and we must prevent unnecessary panic,” said Chancellor Tanggol referring to the volatile situation in Marawi City since an organized group invaded the city at about 2:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday, May 23.
Firefights erupted between government forces and armed men identified by the military as members of the extremist group Maute, alleged sympathizers of the ISIS terrorist organization.
The MSU main campus student evacuees will be directed to the Student Lounge located on the first floor of the College of Arts & Social Sciences (CASS) building according to CASS Dean Dr. Marie Joy D. Banawa who was also at the APC meeting.
At the same time, CASS Assistant Dean Sittie Noffaisah Pasandalan also told OPI that food is being prepared for the evacuees who have not reportedly eaten since intense fighting broke out last night, May 23. As of this writing, some students fleeing the main campus rode in commercial jeeps from Marawi City but other students have been forced to walk using side streets.
Evacuees fleeing Marawi City have been stalled at choke points due to hundreds of vehicles flooding the city’s narrow streets and main thoroughfares.
The CASS will also act as a clearing house, where evacuees will have to present their ID cards and fill out necessary documents to prove they are bonafide students of the main campus.
The Chancellor, the Security Officers, student leaders, the Emergency Response Team, and other officials also met today to discuss further strategies regarding how to secure the Institute and how to help the student evacuees. (See related notice and guidelines issued by the OC-OPI).
It was also agreed that certain buildings around the campus be declared off limits to outsiders like the College of Engineering and Technology (COET), College of Science & Mathematics (CSM), School of Computer Studies (SCS), and the PRISM building.
According to unverified reports, sporadic gunfire could still be heard and 20 truckloads of soldiers arrived in Marawi City as reinforcements to government troops. It has also been reported that ten Rural Transit Buses through the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board have been fielded to pick up stranded commuters and evacuees in Marawi City.
Iligan City is on red alert but offices and business establishments remain open. A peaceful atmosphere has prevailed in the city.