Pacquiao told to probe Marawi rehab effort for more tales of corruption under Duterte
KORONADAL CITY – Residents of Marawi, who were displaced in the 2017 siege by Islamic State (IS)-linked militants, called on Senator Manny Pacquiao to scrutinize the ongoing rehabilitation of the war-torn city, which allegedly stinks of corruption.
Drieza Lininding, chair of the Marawi-based Moro Consensus Group, said Monday that Pacquiao could uncover cans of worms in how public funds were spent for projects aimed at supposedly restoring the country’s lone Islamic city to its old glory.
“Senator Manny, take a look at the Marawi rehabilitation and you will discover many anomalies, the reason why four years after the siege, residents have yet to return to their homes,” Lininding said in a statement.
The Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), which is composed of various government agencies, has been assigned to coordinate the rehabilitation of the city after a fierce five-month battle between government forces and IS militants starting May 23, 2017.
The war displaced at least 350,000 civilians and destroyed the city’s main commercial district.
Lininding said Pacquiao could uncover many irregularities “if he will investigate each agency” under the TFBM headed by Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario.
For instance, a government agency whose mandate is housing is implementing a road project, said Lininding, apparently referring to the National Housing Authority.
Lininding alleged that a single contractor, which he did not identify, had been favored with implementing several projects costing millions of pesos.
“These are just the tip of the iceberg. You will discover many more anomalies in Marawi. Even if you wake up late to the truth, we believe that you can be a big help to fight corruption,” Lininding told Pacquiao.
The boxing icon and lawmaker recently claimed that corruption had worsened under the current administration, earning him the ire of President Duterte, who challenged him to name the agencies allegedly ridden with corruption.
Pacquiao has identified the alleged “corrupt agencies” as the Departments of Health, Social Welfare and Development, Energy, and the Environment and Natural Resources.
Pacquaio flew to the United States to train for his August fight against welterweight champion Errol Spence in Las Vegas.
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