By Raymund Antonio
Otso Diretso candidates Chel Diokno and Samira Gutoc asked Task Force Bangon Marawi for documents regarding the status of the rehabilitation and donations for the reconstruction of war-torn Marawi City.
The two opposition bets sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Task Force Bangon Marawi chairperson Eduardo del Rosario to grant them access to the documents.
Diokno, a human rights lawyer, said the public is still in the dark on rehabilitation efforts, which “seem to be making no progress.”
“I visited Marawi about two weeks ago and got to see Ground Zero myself. And I was perhaps, we could say, shocked that nothing has yet been done,” Diokno said.
“There’s a lot of statements but no action being taken. So on behalf of Samira and myself, we wrote this letter,” he said.
The FOI request covers the status of rehabilitation, which includes the timeline for clearing operations, restoration of water and electrical services, reconstruction of roads, government offices and public schools, and return of residents.
The others are the assistance for residents in rebuilding their homes and businesses, the agreements signed by the government or the Task Force for clearing, restoration, or rehabilitation efforts, and consultations made by government with affected residents and internally displaced persons, if any.
They also requested information on the status of pledges and actual donations, as well as copies of any agreements or contracts made by the government for rehabilitation, other documents regarding these efforts, and the government’s written plan for Marawi.
“Ang point namin ni Chel is the status report of every day development should be given to the people because you accepted money, and international money is much, malaki po ‘yon eh,” Gutoc said.
President Duterte declared Marawi liberated from terrorists on October 2017 after a five-month siege. Cash donations and other forms of assistance poured in for the strife-torn city.
Diokno said there was not much progress in the rehabilitation of Marawi.
“Palagay ko naman sa dumaan na panahon meron na dapat plano ang pamahalaan. They know, they are fully aware of the extent of the damage. They know how it happened and why it happened,” Diokno said.
Gutoc, who is a Maranao civic leader, reminded the government of its responsibility to rebuild Marawi.
“Responsibilidad n’yo iyon, hindi mga businessman. Hindi po dapat sinasabi ng Presidente na ibibigay sa mga businessman ang trabahong rehab,” she said.
“President, we call on you and your responsibility to do what is right, to give us the proper information. Tinanggap n’yo ‘yung donasyon eh. Ibalik n’yo kung hindi n’yo rin gagawin ang rehabilitasyon,” Gutoc added. #MatalinongBoto2019