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Gutoc, Diokno demand crucial data on Marawi rehab

/ 04:18 PM May 07, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Opposition senatorial candidates Samira Gutoc and Chel Diokno demanded on Tuesday a comprehensive list of information from Task Force Bangon Marawi on the real status of the “long-promised but long-delayed” rehabilitation of Marawi City.

In a statement, Gutoc and Diokno said they sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Task Force Bangon Marawi chair Eduardo del Rosario for access to documents on the actual status of rehabilitation and donations received by the government, which “seem to be making no progress” almost two years after the siege on May 23, 2017.

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The administration declared the city liberated from terror forces on Oct. 17 of the same year.

READ: Marawi still a ghost town 2 years after siege ended

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“I visited Marawi about two weeks ago and got to see Ground Zero myself. And I was perhaps we could say shocked that nothing has yet been done in Ground Zero up to now despite the lapse of about eighteen months,” Diokno, a veteran human rights lawyer, said.

“There’s a lot of statements but no action being taken. So on behalf of Samira and myself, we wrote this letter which was served on the Chairman of the Task Force Bangon Marawi this morning,” Diokno added.

The Otso Diretso bets said the FOI request covered the status of the rehabilitation, including the timeline for clearing operations, the restoration of water and electrical services, road reconstruction, and the rebuilding of government offices and public schools.

They also inquired about the return of residents, assistance for residents in rebuilding their homes and businesses, the agreements signed by the government or the Task Force for clearing, restoration, or rehabilitation efforts, and consultations made by the government with affected residents and internally displaced persons, if any.

Gutoc and Diokno also requested information on the status of pledges and actual donations, as well as copies of any agreements or contracts made by the government for rehabilitation, other documents regarding these efforts, and the government’s written plan for Marawi. The government has 15 days to respond to their request, they said.

“If these requests are left unanswered in 15 days, then indeed, this administration has abandoned its responsibility to Marawi City. You may leave us in ruins, and that is on your conscience; and the people of Marawi will never forget this,” Gutoc said.

“We’d like to remind the government of their responsibility,” she added. “Responsibilidad nyo’ yon, hindi mga businessman. Hindi po dapat sinasabi ng Presidente na ibibigay sa mga businessman ang trabahong rehab.”

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(It’s your responsibility, not the businessman. The President should not be saying that the businessmen should do the rehab.)

Gutoc was referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark that he would not fund the rehabilitation, and would just let wealthy businessmen spend for the full restoration of the war-torn southern city.

READ: Duterte to let rich businessmen spend for full Marawi rehab

She also questioned a recent survey saying Filipinos rated the government’s performance on Marawi rehabilitation as “very good.”

“We question the SWS (Social Weather Stations) Survey… A call-out to the survey monitors, please be true. Please do not ignore people who cannot be heard,” she said. /ee

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TAGS: Chel Diokno, news, Philippines, Samira Guto, Task Force Bangon Marawi
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