By Genalyn Kabiling
The government has assured that residents of war-ravaged Marawi City would be consulted about the massive rehabilitation plans of their hometown.
Amid complaints the Maranaos have reportedly been left out in the rehabilitation works, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra recognized that the rebuilding of Marawi must take into consideration the sentiment of the residents as well as the city’s culture and history.
“I’m sure that residents themselves will be given an opportunity to make their own proposals on how to rehabilitate their own city. Baka naman mayroon lang kaunting… [Maybe there has been some] you know, sort of misunderstanding,” Guevarra said during a Palace press briefing.
“But I doubt it very much whether the residents themselves of the city will not even be consulted on a manner by which their city will have to be rehabilitated,” he added.
Guevarra admitted that it was important to consider the “essence of Marawi City” in rebuilding the place after enduring a five-month terror siege.
“There are cultural, historical aspects that need to be respected and considered. So when you are restoring something, you are bringing it back to its condition before of course with much improvement,” he said. “The essence of Marawi City as a Muslim City will have to be taken into account in the restoration process,” he added.
A group of concerned Maranos has called on President Duterte to let the residents participate in the rehabilitation of the war-torn city. The Ranaw Multi-Sectoral Movement, in a statement, has reportedly asked the President to halt plans to establish an economic zone and a military camp in Marawi until the consultations are made with the residents.
Guevarra said they would leave the matter to Task Force Bangon Marawi to respond to the concerns raised by the group.
“I think it’s too early to say whether the President will act on that request. We’ll leave it to the Task Force Bangon Marawi to consider that, to take that into account and to evaluate whether the existence or non-existence of a military camp inside Marawi City is advisable and whether or not converting it into an economic zone will be for the betterment of the city or not. That’s all for the Task Force to evaluate and decide on,” he said.