MANILA MalacaAang on Thursday rejected a senator's claim that there is no master plan for the rehabilitation of Marawi a year after the city was besieged by terrorists of the Maute Group.
With all due respect, we cannot agree with the conclusions made by Senator (Antonio) Trillanes, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Marawi City.
Roque was commenting on Trillanes' move to file a resolution looking into the government's rehabilitation efforts and his plan to investigate the circumstances that led to the five-month armed conflict between government forces and the Islamic State-inspired Maute Group.
Roque described Trillanes' call for a probe as political, noting that the creation of the inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi itself is proof that a master plan is in place.
He however lamented that rehabilitation efforts in Marawi have been hampered by a number of issues, such as questionable contractors and displacement or land grabbing fears of the affected residents.
In June 2017, Duterte signed an administrative order creating Task Force Bangon Marawi that would spearhead the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Meron po tayong sinusunod na master plan, phase by phase po 'yan (We are following a master plan, it comes in phases), Roque said. We are on time naman po. Nagkataon lang na ang prayoridad talaga yung mga bakwit (It just so happens that we are prioritizing the internally displaced persons).
He said that if it is true that there is no master plan for Marawi, the government would not have achieved as much as providing majority of the residents with temporary or permanent homes.
In any case, handa pong makipag-cooperate at makipag-ugnayan ang Palasyo at ang Task Force Bangon Marawi kung matutuloy po yung imbestigasyon na 'yan sa Senado (The Palace and Task Force Bangon Marawi are ready to cooperate if the Senate investigation pushes through), Roque said.
The Palace spokesperson, meanwhile, sought for more patience from residents of the war-torn city, pointing out that rehabilitation takes time.
Lahat tayo naiinip pero matagal po ang proseso ng pagbabangon (We are all getting impatient but the rehabilitation process is a long one), he said.
Rebuilding ground zero is secondary only to making sure the displaced persons have homes to return to, Roque said.
Ang importante, karapatan muna ng mga bakwit na magkaroon ng buhay na as normal as possible (What's important is the right of displaced persons to have lives that are as normal as possible), he said.
Ground zero refers to the area where the fiercest fighting between government troops and the Maute terrorists occurred.
Roque explained that rehabilitation would take time because the goal is to turn Marawi City into a modern, yet Islamic City that all Filipinos can be proud of.
We want Marawi to be a showcase for the whole world to admire. So, ang aming panawagan, konting pasensiya (So, we appeal for more patience). Rehabilitation of Marawi is our number 1 priority right now, he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency