Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Marcos says no need to prioritize Marawi rehab, ‘Duterte finishing it’

Bea Cupin

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Marcos says no need to prioritize Marawi rehab, ‘Duterte finishing it’

LANAO DEL SUR'S BET. Bongbong Marcos Jr is flanked by allies in Lanao del Sur, including its incumbent governor, during a campaign stop in Marawi on March 31.

Bea Cupin/Rappler

The rehabilitation of Marawi is far from done, although government officials claim it would be at least 90% done by June 30 this year

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Hours after a visit to the city where the incumbent elected officials promised a “landslide win” for Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the presidential candidate said there would be “no need” to focus on rehabilitating its areas ravaged by war because President Rodrigo Duterte is already “finishing it.”

Ginagawa na yun, there’s no need… tinatapos na ni Pangulong Duterte,” said Marcos Jr on the sidelines of a campaign stop in Bukidnon province on Thursday, March 31. 

(It’s done, so there’s no need [to prioritize]. President Duterte already did that.) 

The rehabilitation of Marawi, which was practically razed to the ground after a terror attack caused a five-month war in 2017, has been slow. And it’s not yet done.

Huge parts of the city were left in ruin after ISIS sympathizers occupied strategic parts of the city, prompting President Duterte to place the entire Mindanao under martial law. Some 400,000 residents were displaced by the war. 

While government and public infrastructure are slowly being rebuilt, internally displaced persons remained at a loss at the end of 2021, after the Senate then failed to pass the Marawi Compensation Act. 

The Senate eventually passed the act, which would compensate residents who lost property and were displaced as a result of the conflict. The House, which had passed their version of the bill months prior, adopted the Senate version in February 2021. Only President Duterte’s signature is needed before it is signed into law.  

While in Marawi, Marcos was asked about the city’s rehabilitation again and whether it would be a priority under his Marcos presidency. He said, “Meron report sa akin [na] inaayos muna yung basic infrastructure na nasira. Mahirap gawin yun, kaya natatagalan. I’m sure pag natapos na, we will rebuild the structures and magiging mas malawak…” 

(I got a report that said they’re fixing the basic infrastructure first. That’s difficult to do, so it’s taking time. I’m sure once that’s done, we will rebuild the structures and it’s going to be more vast.) 

Government officials earlier admitted that rehabilitation efforts would not be done by the end of Duterte’s term, despite earlier promises. Task Force Bangon Marawi chair and Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario said in February 2022 that the rehab program would be “90 to 95 percent” finished by June 30, or when Duterte’s term ends.

Earlier in the day, Marcos Jr had attended a proclamation rally at the Lanao del Sur provincial capitol grounds, during which reelectionist Governor Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto Adiong Jr. said allies – reelectionists or mayoral bets – from the province’s 38 municipalities, as well as Marawi City, are backing the dictator’s son. 

Ang ibig sabihin non, yung andiyan na dumalo sa grand rally ni [Marcos Jr] dito sa Lanao del Sur, lahat ‘yun, tutulong” said Adiong, adding that the help also extends to Sara Duterte, President Duterte’s daughter and Marcos Jr’s running mate. 

(That means all the mayors who attended the grand rally for Marcos Jr here in Lanao del Sur, all of them will help him.) – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.