Marawi, Lanao Del Sur – Malacañang on Wednesday, November 22, announced the government’s plan for the total rehabilitation of Marawi City’s “Ground Zero” in the aftermath of the clash between government troops and the Maute terror group.
“The goal is to completely rebuild Marawi during the term of President Duterte…To the residents of Marawi, sagot po kayo ni Presidente. Babangon po ang Marawi,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing here.
The Bangon Marawi press briefing was held in the city for the first time, as an early commitment made by Roque when he took office as a member of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Cabinet.
“[I]’s important to set a message, especially to the youth who may be susceptible to being recruited [by terrorists], that Malacañang has moved to Marawi itself. I’m here today as the Spokesperson… to emphasize that the President is committed to the rebuilding of Marawi in the soonest time possible,” Roque said.
He reported that Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) is currently conducting its Post-Conflict Needs Assessment (PCNA) in areas affected by the siege. He said it is set to provide an initial estimated cost for rehabilitation early next year.
Roque also disclosed information discussed during the government’s recent dialogue with Marawi stakeholders on the planned reconstruction of the war-torn city.
He relayed TFBM head and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) Chair Eduardo Del Rosario’s plan to completely rebuild the 24 barangays mostly affected by the conflict.
Roque said the government plans to flatten the entire area and build new infrastructure, complete with better facilities such as underground electric cables and a promenade that would serve as a prime tourist attraction.
He also reiterated the TFBM’s commitment to residents that in the rebuilding of their city, the government would consider their religious and cultural convictions. He said places of worship would be rebuilt based on the residents’ preference.
Roque further guaranteed regular consultations among stakeholders during the rehabilitation phase.
Secretary Del Rosario, for his part, announced that the task force is set to redeploy its next batch of PCNA teams to remaining Marawi barangays that are yet to be assessed.
In the meantime, he said all agencies involved in TFBM would continue to focus on the city’s early recovery stage, which includes assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs) in returning to their homes.
In line with this, Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra said the second leg of “Kambalingan” commenced this week, with residents from eight barangays under Cluster 2 successfully returning to their homes. To date, residents from 17 barangays already returned to their respective places, he noted.
DOJ files cases vs Maute members
Meanwhile, Spokesperson Roque announced that the Justice Department has filed a total of 37 cases involving rebellion and violation of other special penal laws against members of the Maute group and other conspirators in the siege.
He noted that a special panel of investigators has been formed by the agency to specifically investigate violations of international humanitarian laws that were perpetrated by the terror group.
Roque further said the President is planning to go back to Marawi in December to witness the turnover of transitional housing units to some evacuees. President Duterte himself said in a speech on Tuesday, Nov. 21, that he would visit soldiers deployed in Marawi and Jolo next month. ###PCO-Content