MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte will not step down unless Marawi is back to its former glory in the wake of a five-month crisis that left the city in ruins, a Palace official said.
"Ang pangako naman po ng Presidente ay hindi siya aalis sa puwesto nang hindi nakabangon ang Marawi," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
In a taped interview with "Konektodo" on DZMM Teleradyo that aired Sunday night, Roque said the world is watching how the Philippine government will rebuild the Islamic City.
"At 'pag ang Presidente naman ay nagsalita, tingin ko naman, meron na tayong sapat na karanasan para paniwalaan agad na gagawin at gagawin niya ang pangako," he added.
The Marawi siege ended last October 23 following months of fierce battles between the Islamic State-linked Maute terrorist group and state forces.
It left some 1,100 dead, mostly terrorists, and displaced over 350,000 residents from the city and nearby towns.
During the interview, Task Force Bangon Marawi chief Eduardo del Rosario said they are looking to complete the rehabilitation efforts "not later than December 2021."
He said the city will be subjected to a massive land development, wherein roads will be widened, buildings cleared, and power lines placed underground.
"Aayusin siya para maging suitable as a business center," said Del Rosario.
Meanwhile, political analyst Clarita Carlos urged the Philippine government to commit to the timeline of getting Marawi back to its feet.
"Kailangan makita nila 'yung build-up... Kasi tinaas ang expectation. 'Pag tinaas ang expection, tapos hindi nila makita, the level of frustration will really shoot," she said.
"Alam niyo, ang damdamin nila ngayon ay talagang sugat-sugat. Huwag na po nating dagdagan na meron silang sense na merong kinikilingan at merong pinipili."