The task of reigniting the peace process among Maranaos and Christians in Marawi – temporarily halted but not defeated – must begin even if the war is still going on. We couldn’t wait for the Maute group to be defeated before we begin the process of healing peoples and communities, bridging the gaps, sharing our dreams, and reconstructing our lives. These processes have to begin now before the reconstruction begins and before people will go back to the city.

Most Rev. Edwin dela Peña, MSP, D.D.


The Marawi Siege that began on May 23, 2017 has ended but the suffering of the Meranaw and their hunger for peace and justice continue.

The Prelature of St. Mary in Marawi is one with the people – particularly the Meranaw – in their loss and suffering. Our key personnel are still held under hostage, our Cathedral was reduced to rubbles after being looted and desecrated, and our own Christian community of 20,000 individuals are in diaspora. All our heritage, collections, church records, and structures were damaged or burned.

But we remain ONE with the people of Marawi in their hopes and desires to begin the long journey towards recovering and rebuilding their city and the essential tasks of healing, reconciliation and peace-building. Already, we have heard signs of dissonance and seeds of discord even before the blueprints and roadmaps for reconstruction are being designed. It will be easier to invest billions in building roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, but the real foundation of this city must be built in the hearts of its people.

That is where we want to invest. That is where we hope you can join us.


To begin this journey, Most Rev. Edwin dela Peña, D.D. assembled a group of priests and lay missionaries from all over the country in partnership with the Redemptorist Missionaries to form a social action center to plan and implement a both short-term and long-term church-based response to this crisis.

After consultation with major stakeholders in this crisis – IDPs, LGUs, military, CSOs, Maranao leaders, and church organizations – we crafted a program called DUYOG MARAWI, Duyog is the Cebuano term for accompaniment as often used as the act of playing a musical instrument to accompany a singer or a dancer. We are conscious that the mission of rebuilding the city belongs to the people of Marawi; we as representative of the universal Catholic Church are here to support and accompany them all the way.

From the beginning, our mission has always been a reconciling presence in Marawi and to bridge the gap between Maranaos and Christians.

While we engage in relief, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of communities, we also heard a different mission calling us to a definitive action: to ensure that people’s faith and culture are paid attention to and factored into the rebuilding process of the city and to ascertain that people’s rights are protected and upheld.

We genuinely believe that these faith and culture are rich in traditions and history of peaceful and collaborative community-making – one that safeguards the young from the enticing and persuasive tentacles of extremism. We refuse to surrender the beautiful city of Marawi to the forces of death and destruction.


Marawi City and the whole Ranao Region will be a model community of sustainable development and mutual cooperation among Maranaos of all classes and clans and peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians.

We are given that rare opportunity to prove to the world that it is possible – difficult, arduous, and exhausting maybe, but possible! And we will document it at every step of the way and tell that story to the rest of the world especially to the Christians.


  1. Duyog Marawi will be a contributing voice that tells the real stories, the struggles, and the successes of the Maranao people in their search for peace. We will utilize our capacities and networks in letting your voice be heard to the Christian world.
  2. Duyog Marawi will serve as a third party monitor of the incidence of abuses from all sides as has always been the role of the Prelature from the beginning.
  3. Duyog Marawi will act as a convener and supporter of initiatives for interfaith and interreligious dialogues for peace.
  4. Duyog Marawi will serve as bridge that connects the mercy and compassion of the Christian world to the affected communities in Marawi and around the Lake Lanao.


A gender-sensitive, youth-led, inclusive peace process in post-conflict Muslim Mindanao is the overarching agenda of this project.

But the mission from the Vatican to the Prelature of Marawi to remain “a reconciling presence in the Ranao Region” is the mandate from which this project is anchored.

The intent of the supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the elimination of Christians in the Mindanao regions: through this project, we assert that Christians have a role in the reconstruction, development and peacebuilding of the Bangsamoro (Muslim Nation in Mindanao) while honoring their faith and cultural traditions.

The core message we aim to communicate to the Maranaos is that we, the Christians, are one with them in this journey, and we have something unique and valuable to offer both in rehabilitation and peacebuilding after ISIS-supported destroyed their region.

We hope to nurture the grounds for a Maranao-led rehabilitation, more empowered Bangsamoro and to help prevent the growth of Violent Religious Extremists (VREs) in the region. Such is the lofty ambition of this engagement.


Duyog Marawi Phase Four is a four-pronged strategic response that are intertwined:


  1. Integrated Rehabilitation of Affected Communities (IRRM) combining Shelter, WASH, Livelihoods, Health and Wellness. This will be implemented by our Recovery and Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) for both Marawi Siege and Vinta Affected IDPs and host-communities.
  1. Peacebuilding and Social Cohesion – aims to harness the power of interfaith dialogue and cooperation among the young Muslims and Christians to promote peace and prevent violent extremism across the country. This will be implemented by our PBS Team in partnership with schools and universities around the country.


  1. Good Governance and Disaster Risk Reduction – works with local government units and traditional leaders in both barangay and municipal level to provide tools and processes towards development planning, good governance training, alternative dispute resolutions, and disaster risk reduction in pilot areas in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte.


  1. Promotion of Islamic Entrepreneurship for Economic Recovery – promotes a culture appropriate Islamic entrepreneurship as a means for building back better the Ranao economy which Marawi used to be the focal point.