‘Pera ng tao ito’: Duterte deflects credit on Marawi rehab

Published October 20, 2021, 12:31 AM

by Raymund Antonio

The rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi is “a government commitment,” President Duterte said on Tuesday, October 19, as he deflected the gratitude of Maranaos and lamented that “some people” still criticize the government for it.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his “Talk to the People” public briefing on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. (RTVM Screenshot)

“We do not claim any credit for this. To rebuild Marawi is a government commitment, trabahante lang kami. ‘Yung mga magpapasalamat sa akin, okay na rin, pero hindi na kailangan kasi trabaho ko ‘yan (we are just workers. To those who are thanking me, it’s okay, but it’s not needed because that’s my job),” he said during a pre-recorded public address aired late Tuesday night.

The President was in Marawi City last week to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the city’s liberation from the Maute Group, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), before raiding Marawi and taking control of the city.

Duterte also unveiled the Grand Mosque, which has a marker to stand as symbol of the siege.

Tuesday’s Talk to the People began with a video presentation of the Marawi siege and its rehabilitation. Several Maranaos also thanked Duterte for the turnover of houses which they lost due to the siege that displaced more than 120,000 people.

The President said that he wanted to show the public what the government is doing with their money, and argued that the rehabilitation efforts in Marawi has nothing to do with the administration’s campaign for the 2022 polls.

READ: Duterte tells Marawi folk: Gov’t doing its best to finish rehabilitation

“Ipinakita ko sa inyo kung saan ang pera natin napunta. Importante kasi ‘yan, kasi ngayon left and right, may makita lang na ano, corruption—corruption dito, corruption. Magandang isyu kasi ‘yan kasi eleksyon (I’m showing you where our money is going. That’s important because now, left and right, when they see something, it’s corruption — corruption here, corruption. That’s a good issue because it’s elections),” he added.

Duterte lamented that “there are some people who keep on hammering” because “that is free campaign exposure.”

Over the weekend, Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez criticized the slow rehabilitation of Marawi as it has taken almost the whole of the President’s term to complete.

READ: Robredo spox on Marawi rehab: ‘Four years after, it’s not yet complete’

Despite the recent efforts, some Maranaos are reportedly not happy with the government because it is slow and ineffective.

The shelter where the Maranaos lived since the siege allegedly lack basic services such as electricity and water.

There are concerns as well with the lack of consultations with stakeholders before implementing the programs.