Malacañang on Thursday assured that President Duterte has not forgotten about the rehabilitation of the war-torn city of Marawi despite it not being mentioned in his fifth State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) this week.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after House Deputy Speaker Mujiv Hataman on Tuesday lamented the lack of discussion on the government’s plan to rehabilitate Marawi City during the SONA.
Roque assured Hataman that the government continues to rebuild Marawi City and said this is probably why it was omitted from the President’s speech.
“Congressman Hataman hindi po tumigil ang gobyerno para mapabangon muli ang Marawi dahil sa nangyari ilang taon na ang nakakalipas (The government never stopped helping Maraw rise again because of what happened in 2017),” he said.
“Tuloy-tuloy po ang rebuilding of Marawi. Kaya nga po siguro hindi na sinama sa talumpati ng Presidente dahil nagsimula naman po ‘yan at ongoing po ‘yan (The rebuilding of Marawi is ongoing. Perhaps that why it wasn’t included in the President’s speech because it is ongoing),” he added.
In a series of tweets, Hataman said that even though the entire nation’s focus is on COVID-19, Duterte could have given importance to Marawi City like how he mentioned the problem with telecommunications.
“Sana binigyan na rin ng taning ang Marawi rehab katulad ng pagbibigay ng taning sa (He should have given a deadline to the Marawi rehabilitation like what he did with) Smart and Globe,” he said.
“Sana unahin na muna natin ang compensation bill ng Marawi bago ang death penalty (We could have prioritized the compensation bill for Marawi before death penalty),” he added.
Marawi is under rehabilitation after it was destroyed in the fight against pro-ISIS terrorists who laid siege in May 2017.
The war with terrorists, which ended after exactly five months, prompted Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao and was extended three times before it lapsed on Dec. 31, 2019.