Vice President Leni Robredo has urged the Duterte administration to expedite the rehabilitation efforts of war-struck Marawi City three years after local terrorists commenced a five-month siege there.
“Today we remember the Marawi we lost, even as we renew the call for a more urgent approach to the rehabilitation process, and recommit to the rebuilding of a more peaceful and prosperous city,” Robredo said.
She pointed out that thousands of Marawi City residents remain displaced, and the city’s buildings are still yet to be repaired even if the Marawi rehab project of the government is properly funded.
The vice president added that what took place in Marawi City is a reminder that violent extremism remains a big threat to the Philippines, and in order to prevent this, “frustrations must be met with compassion.” She emphasized that “liberation entails much more than silencing the gunfire.”
Meanwhile, residents of Marawi said that even after three years since the government declared the city free from terrorists, the feeling of being liberated still feels foreign for them.
“There is nothing to commemorate, only our pain and suffering that continue to this day,” Drieza Lininding, Moro Consensus Group chair said.
“We don’t feel liberated at all, because after three years, we are still [prevented from going] back to our homes and communities for no apparent reason as the search and retrieval of unexploded bombs and ordnance have already been completed,” he added.
Lininding urged his fellow Maranaos not to take part in the activities lined up to mark the occasion.