Diokno, Gutoc seek update on Marawi rehabilitation

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 07 2019 06:00 PM

MANILA -- Senate hopefuls Chel Diokno and Samira Gutoc bared Tuesday that they formally sought updates on the rehabilitation of war-hit Marawi City. 

Diokno and Gutoc said they wrote to Task Force Bangon Marawi Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario, and sought documents on the rehabilitation of the southern city, a year and a half after it was stormed by Islamic State sympathizers. 

Among details requested by the Senate bets from the Otso Diretso slate were the status of the restoration of water and power services, the rebuilding of government offices and private properties, as well as pledges and actual donations, including those from China. 

Aside from Duterte's FOI order for the executive branch, Gutoc and Diokno also invoked the Administrative Code of 1987, particularly its provision on public officials neglecting their duties.

They requested the task force to furnish them with the documents within 15 days. 

“They know how it happened and why it happened and hindi namin maintindihan kung bakit hanggang ngayon puro salita lang wala, naman nangyayari," said Diokno. 

(We cannot understand why the response has been all talk until now, nothing is happening.) 

"If these requests are left unanswered in 15 days, then indeed, this administration has abandoned its responsibility to Marawi City. You may leave us in ruins, and that is on your conscience; and the people of Marawi will never forget this," added Gutoc, who hails from the city. 

Thousands of houses were destroyed when state forces retook Marawi from Islamic State sympathizers who held it for 5 months in 2017. 

Del Rosario, head of the government housing council, had said late April that the government will give houses and lots to some 4,000 illegal settlers in the banks of Lake Lanao and Agus River.

The government aims to finish searching for 43 unexploded ordnance by November, he added. 

"We cannot fast track [this]. 'Pag ginawa natin iyun (if we do that), safety will be compromised," he said. 

Troops have recovered 5,000 improvised bombs, he noted. 

The cost for Marawi's rehabilitation, which is expected to be completed in 2021, has reached P60.5 billion, said Del Rosario. - Report from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News