By Chito Chavez
The head of a Marawi City evacuees group on Wednesday has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to sack three government officials for alleged anomalies that have stymied the rehabilitation of the war-torn city for the past two years.
Datu Meno Manabilang, chairman of Sowara O Miyamagoyag (Voice of Marawi internally displaced persons), maintained in a forum in Quezon City that the President should immediately dismiss Housing and Urban Development Council Chairman (HUDC) and Task Force
Bangon Marawi (TFB Marawi) Chairman Eduardo del Rosario, National Housing Authority (NHA) General Manager Marcelino Escalada, and NHA Special Bids and Awards Committee Chair Victor Balba.
Manabilang alleged that the three have hindered the rehabilitation efforts in Marawi City.
“You are failed by the people whom you have trusted in the implementation of these tasks that has something to do with your vision fo what you want for the Maranaos,” Manabilang said in his message to Duterte.
“Mr. President, we would like you to have a direct hand (in the Marawi rehabilitation). We leave it to your ultimate wisdom because we believe you know how to overcome this situation,” he added.
In case the President rejects their call, Manabilang asserted the three should have the delicadeza to just quit to pave the way for more competent people to replace them.
Manabilang’s spokesman Hadji Amin Titing Atar also denied claims made by TFB Marawi officials that rebuilding efforts in the city were being undertaken.
Stressing his point, Atar said that “for the past two years, not a single tangible accomplishment in the most affected area has been in place.”
He asked the government not to focus the rehabilitation efforts on the 250-hectare “ground zero” which is now referred to as the most affected area (MAA) since the place was left deserted.
At least 275,000 individuals were displaced due to the siege laid down by the IS-inspired Maute Group on May 23, 2017.
“Another issue is why focus on the implementation of the project in the 250-hectare Marawi siege when there are no people there. Only dogs and cats are there and of course the military guarding the area. This is a joke that there is complete peace now in the MAA, peace without people,” he added.
Atar said Malacanang should have given the rehabilitation task solely to the more experienced and competent Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) rather than the TF Bangon Marawi.
Manabilang has filed criminal complaints before the Ombudsman last Monday against the three officials, and several others over the alleged irregularities in the selection of contractors for the cleanup and demolition works worth billions of pesos.