President Rodrigo Duterte says the government will no longer spend money to rebuild Marawi City, and that he will just allow its affluent residents and businessmen to spend for the full restoration of the city that was damaged by five months of an armed conflict.
In a situation briefing on Tuesday to assess the damage wrought by Monday’s earthquake in Pampanga, Duterte said the government was “not ready” to rebuild the city back to its state before the 2017 siege.
“I don’t think I should be spending for their buildings. I will not waste anything,” Duterte said.
“Those people have the money. Every Maranao there is a businessman. Shabu is included. They have money,” Duterte said.
“The debate there is whether I would be also building the same kind that they lost. I don’t think I am ready for that.”
Senatorial candidate Samira Gutoc slammed Duterte.
Mr. President, with due respect, you dishonor Marawi and the memory of those who perished in the Marawi siege, even the soldiers you sent there,” Gutoc said.
“This is a lousy excuse for the lousy effort this administration has been giving to rehabilitate Marawi.
“It breaks my heart to hear the President’s words that he has really no intention to fund the much-delayed, much-sought rehabilitation of Marawi, two years after he made the order to rain bombs and pulverize my beloved city without even consulting the people who live in it.”
Duterte said the armed conflict in Marawi had always been a “man-made calamity.”
“It was bound to happen because of what they were doing there, he said.
But he commended the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council for building housing projects for the affected families.
“The thing I admired most was the speed that you built the houses in Marawi, Duterte said, admiring the work of HUDCC chairman Eduardo del Rosario.
“They say Marawi is not yet ready to The epicenter was really downtown. But the informal settlers, the squatters so to speak, what Del Rosario did was really good. It’s sturdy, it can stand another whatever.”
On May 23, 2017, homegrown terrorists laid siege to Marawi. The incident prompted Duterte to return to the country from his visit to Russia, putting the entire Mindanao under martial law.
The Palace said the deaths of terrorists Omar Maute and Isnilon Hapilon thwarted the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the area and curbed the possibility of a spreading rebellion.