Duterte signs law to compensate victims of 2017 war in Marawi

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2022 04:11 PM | Updated as of Apr 27 2022 07:09 PM

 A resident walks back before reaching a fence set up by soldiers in Bangolo, Marawi City on March 19, 2018. Most of the commercial and downtown areas of Marawi City are still off-limits to residents who have been staying in tents and temporary shelters for more than two years. Froilan Gallard, ABS-CBN News/File
A resident walks back before reaching a fence set up by soldiers in Bangolo, Marawi City on March 19, 2018. Most of the commercial and downtown areas of Marawi City are still off-limits to residents who have been staying in tents and temporary shelters for more than two years. Froilan Gallard, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATE)- President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure seeking to compensate the victims of the 2017 war in Marawi, Malacañang said on Wednesday. 

Acting Palace spokesperson Martin Andanar said Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11696 which would create the "Marawi Compensation Board," a quasi-judicial body with members to be appointed by the President.

The law identifies the victims as those who have "damaged or demolished properties and possessions" that "cannot be recovered."

It aims to fulfill as well the government's obligations under international human rights laws. 

"The State is likewise obligated to recognize the essence of providing reparation and compensation for persons and families whose rights were violated and whose economic, social, cultural rights were unfulfilled as a result of armed conflicts," the law read. 

The heirs of victims who died or were legally presumed dead could also avail of the compensation as stated under the law and its implementing rules and regulations. 

Private property owners whose establishments, houses, and buildings, got destroyed to make way for the Marawi recovery program may also claim their compensation. 

A total of 24 barangays were listed under the law as "main affected areas" during the war.

CHINESE DONATIONS

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian announced that his government would donate six sets of fire trucks to Marawi City. The official said he signed the deal with the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

The fire trucks will provide "a more efficient and effective fire safety response" in their localities and support the city's rebuilding, noted Huang.

"The Chinese government fulfills its commitment to support the Philippine government’s Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program," he said in a Facebook post.

"This project will help contribute to this region’s economic and social recovery, and its long-lasting peace and prosperity. Hope the fire trucks donated by China will help our Filipino friends rebuild a more safe and beautiful Marawi city, and help the city back to its former glory," he added.

Marawi City was reduced to rubble after a 5-month war against Islamic State-inspired homegrown terrorists in May 2017.

In his final State of the Nation Address in July last year, Duterte challenged the task force Bangon Marawi to fast-track the rebuilding of the city.

Duterte admitted that "rebuilding a better Marawi remains today still not completed" four years after the fierce months-long battle that left the southern city in ruins.

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