Marawi rehab ‘a race against time’ — Duterte

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Marawi rehab âa race against timeâ â Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte is joined by Senate President Tito Sotto and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco at Congress during his last State of the Nation Address on July 26, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi is now a "race against time," President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday, as he ordered agencies to finish the rebuilding of the city.

"Rebuilding a better Marawi remains today, still not completed," Duterte said during his final state of the nation address.  

"To Task Force Bangon Marawi, we need to race against time. And you have to finish the necessary work to rehabilitate the war-torn city and bring back its (displaced) families back home," he added.

About 1,000 militants with ties to extremist group Islamic State and more than 160 government troopers died during the Marawi siege, the longest urban battle in the Philippines since World War II. The five month-siege, which started on May 23, 2017, also left about 360,000 persons homeless.

Task Force Bangon Marawi chair and housing chief Eduardo del Rosario recently said the government is on track to finish horizontal and vertical projects by December. The rehabilitation of the city is about 50 to 75 percent complete, he added.

Duterte said the government's victory in Marawi is "a testament to how the Filipino’s patriotism is far stronger than any extremist group."

"As I have said before, many times, there is no room for lawlessness in this country," the president said.

In the same speech, Duterte said the bloodshed caused by the separatist movement in Mindanao is all about correcting the historical injustices suffered by the Moros since the colonial period.

"With the help of Congress, we were able to pass the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,  finally fulfilling a promise that was decades in the making," he added.

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