Palace assures Marawi rehab will continue despite SONA snub
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang defended Thursday President Rodrigo Duterte’s failure to mention the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City during his penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA), saying that the snub doesn’t mean the government wavered in its promise to revive the Islamic city.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued this remark after Basilan Rep. Mujiv Hataman expressed fears that the delayed rehabilitation of Marawi City may be forgotten if it will not be completed within the term of Duterte’s term.
He also lamented that it wasn’t even mentioned during the President’s SONA on Monday.
Addressing Hataman, Roque said the government will not stop rebuilding Marawi City, which suffered a five-month siege by Muslim extremists in 2017 and after 3 years still remains in ruins.
“Congressman Hataman, hindi po tumigil ang gobyerno para mapabangon muli ang Marawi dahil sa nangyari ilang taon na ang nakakalipas. Tuloy-tuloy po ang rebuilding of Marawi,” Roque said in a televised press briefing.
(Congressman Hataman, the government did not stop rebuild Marawi because of what happened a few years ago. The rebuilding of Marawi will continue.)
“Kaya nga po siguro hindi na sinama sa talumpati ng Presidente dahil nagsimula naman po ‘yan at ongoing po ‘yan,” he added.
(That is why maybe it was not included in the President’s speech because it started and it is already ongoing.)
A bloody five-month war between the Islamic State sympathizer Maute group and government forces—which started on May 23, 2017— led to the significant destruction of lives and property in the Islamic city.
Thousands of survivors were displaced and were forced to live in temporary shelters provided by the government.
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the government has vowed to complete the rehabilitation of Marawi City by December 2021.
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