House raises P13 million for Marawi victims
MANILA, Philippines – Several lawmakers pooled their money to raise P13 million to help in rehabilitation efforts for victims of the Marawi City seige.
"[We raised] about P13 million, but I'd rather not give the names of donors so as not to place in [a] bad light those who did not or were not able to give," House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas said in a text message on Monday, June 19.
Fariñas said the donation drive was conducted through the legislators' Viber thread from May 28 to 31.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez earlier announced the House of Representatives would raise money to be placed in a trust fund for those affected by the clashes between government forces and terrorists in Marawi City.
Alvarez will be creating a separate committee to facilitate the trust fund.
The Marawi City seige had prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in the entire Mindanao on May 23.
Nearly a month since the Maute Group and Abu Sayyaf Group attacked Marawi City, the death toll has topped 300. A total of 225 terrorists, 59 soldiers and policemen, and 26 civilians have been killed.
Trapped residents in the battle zone are also feared to be dying from hunger.
The House and the Senate refused to convene jointly to discuss the merits of Duterte's martial law declaration. The two chambers instead received closed-door briefings from national security officials and later adopted separate resolutions supporting martial law in Mindanao.