Amid rehab efforts, Duterte orders military to maintain presence in Marawi City
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the military to maintain its presence in Marawi City, three years after Islamic State-inspired militants laid siege to the city.
Duterte gave the order on Wednesday during a meeting in Malacañang held to address issues hounding rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City.
“It’s the age of terrorism so we will just have to do something about it. Come up with something that can mitigate. Anyway, pagka-peaceful na, (when it’s peaceful already) then it’s about time the military will go out. My decision to build a military camp there will remain,” Duterte was quoted as saying in a Palace press release on Thursday.
The President also appealed to the people of Marawi to support the deployment of soldiers there, noting that state troopers are in the city not to go after Maranaos but to combat the terrorists.
“I’m not after the Maranao, ang akin d’yan is the military should be there to avoid a repeat of… ‘yang military hindi ‘yang Maranao ang hinahanap n’yan, the terrorists that terrorize everybody,” Duterte said.
“Now, if you are bothered by my explanation to you, just look at what happened to the Middle East,” he added.
Duterte last year created a technical working group to study the establishment of a military camp in Marawi City.
Homegrown Maute terrorists laid siege on Marawi City on May 23, 2017, sparking a conflict between the Islamic State-inspired combatants and government troops that lasted for five months and left the Islamic City in ruins.
During the meeting, Duterte also gave Marawi City rehabilitation czar Eduardo del Rosario a direct line to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to help speed up reconstruction efforts in the devastated Islamic city.
The actual rehabilitation works started in September 2018 by clearing the city of unexploded bombs and debris. The second phase of the rehabilitation effort involves the construction of structures and buildings in the city.
Edited by MUF
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