Civic leader says gov't 'lying' about Marawi rehab being 65% done

Civic leader says gov't 'lying' about Marawi rehab being 65% done
This photo shows the Masjid Disomangcop mosque in Barangay Daguduban, where rebuilding efforts are underway.
Facebook / Task Force Bangon Marawi

MANILA, Philippines — A civic leader from Marawi disputed Tuesday the government’s claim that 65% of the rehabilitation of the city once besieged by Islamist militants is complete.

Drieza Lininding, chairperson of the Moro Consensus Group, told a press briefing that the progress of the rebuilding of the city from the damage brought by the months-long fighting between government forces and Islamic State-inspired terrorists is far from what the government is claiming as basic facilities have yet to be restored in the most affected area.

“‘Yong statement nila ay deception or talagang nagsisinungaling sila,” Lininding said. “Wala kang water system, wala kang power system. So wala kang nakakabit na basic facilities. Hindi pa natatapos ‘yong road network. So how can they claim 65% [is finished?]”

(Their statement is a deception or they’re really lying … You don’t have a water system, you don’t have a power system. So you don’t have basic facilities. The road network is not yet finished. So how can they claim 65% is finished?)

Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario told state-run People’s Television last week that the government has rebuilt 65% of the city four years after the siege, assuring that they are on track to finish the city’s rehabilitation before the end of the year.

But Lininding, who has been allowed entry into the most affected area, said he estimates that the government’s progress on rebuilding the city is just around 25% to 30%.

A report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism showed that many residents have not yet secured building permits, while others had no funds.

The siege in Marawi by members of the Islamic State-inspired Maute took four months. Estimate figures on deaths are at 114 civilians, 270 unidentified individuals, 168 government troops and 924 from the rebel group.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Mindanao under martial law on May 23, 2017. The proclamation was extended and lasted for two years and seven months, or until end-2019. — Xave Gregorio

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