Group calls out actor Robin Padilla over remarks on Marawi compensation bill
DAVAO CITY — A leader of a group of displaced residents of Marawi City expressed shock over actor Robin Padilla’s statement questioning the Marawi compensation bill, which the senatorial aspirant called an “insult” to soldiers who fought against a terror group that in 2017 laid siege to sections of the country’s only Islamic city.
Padilla, a candidate for senator of the administration PDP-Laban, particularly questioned the use of the word “compensation,” which he said implied that a wrong had been committed by government troops when they helped liberate Marawi from Islamic State-linked groups led by brothers Abdullah and Omarkhayam Maute.
“The definition of the word compensation in time of war is very sensitive,” Padilla, in a social media post, said on Monday.
“They are intended to cover damage or injury inflicted during the war … As far as we know, the Armed Forces of the Philippines [was] the victor of that war, the liberators and the victors. For what did our soldiers offer their lives, for what purpose were those medals of valor given to them if the government would only pay compensation for that Marawi war?” Padilla asked in Filipino.
“Is it an admission of mistake and blunder?” he added.
Drieza Lininding, chair of Moro Consensus Group, said Padilla’s statement only betrayed the senatorial aspirant’s utter lack of understanding about what happened in Marawi.
‘Never part of war’
“In the first place, you cannot call our sacrifices in Marawi as part of ‘jihad’ because, first of all, we were never part of the war,” Lininding said in Filipino. “We were victims.”
“It was a war [between terror groups and government soldiers] but the grounds where they were fighting were our houses, our community, [the property] invested and bequeathed to us by our ancestors for decades. So it’s just right that Congress look for ways to compensate us, to help the people of Marawi rebuild their lives,” Lininding added.
He also stressed that Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, who served as the Philippine National Police chief at the height of the Marawi siege, was one of the principal authors of the Senate version of the bill. He said Dela Rosa, the standard-bearer of PDP-Laban in next year’s elections, did not consider the measure an “insult” to the police.
“His (Padilla’s) interpretation is wrong. This is not about the payment for a wrong done. This is not an insult to the greatness of soldiers … Many policemen died [in the siege and Dela Rosa] would not push [such] a law if he considered it an insult to the policemen who offered [their] lives in Marawi,” Lininding said.
He thanked the House of Representatives for approving last month the bill that would provide monetary compensation to those affected by the 2017 siege. The compensation covers “qualified claimants” who lost their residential and commercial properties due to the conflict. The measure is now being deliberated by the Senate finance committee chaired by Sen. Sonny Angara. —GERMELINA LACORTE
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