Senate urged to probe alleged corruption in Marawi rehab program

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2021 04:26 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2021 05:02 PM

Senate urged to probe alleged corruption in Marawi rehab program 1
This photo taken on May 23, 2021 shows Philippine soldiers looking over workers constructing a building which was a main battleground in 2017 when Islamic State-inspired Muslim militants laid siege to the southern Philippine city of Marawi, resulting in a five-month campaign that claimed more than 1,000 lives until government troops re-took control. Ferdinand Cabrera/ AFP

MANILA - Displaced residents in Marawi are calling for a Senate investigation into alleged anomalies in the city's snail-paced rehabilitation program 4 years since the Islamic city was besieged by terrorists.

Drieze Lininding, chairman of Marawi-based Moro Consensus Group, said the rehabilitation efforts were not halfway done, refuting an earlier claim by the Task Force Bangon Marawi that it is 68 percent complete.

"Sa tingin namin ito ay malaking kasinungalingan dahil kung titingnan niyo wala pa po 'yong basic facilities like electricity and water system," he told ANC's "Rundown".

(We think this is a big lie because there are still no basic facilities like electricity and water system.)

Lininding cited that government had yet to break ground on major projects and less than half of funds had only been released. Some infrastructure projects that were supposed to start in 2018 only began in 2020, he added.

The Moro Consensus Group also raised alarm on possible irregularities on the implementation of multibillion-peso worth of public works contracts by the National Housing Authority.

Lininding alleged the NHA was favoring a Pampanga-based contractor who bagged the project amounting to more than P2 billion.

"Paano nabigyan sila ng gano'ng kalaking halaga na project na wala silang experience sa debris clearing, wala silang experience sa search for explosive ordnance?" he said.

(How come they were awarded with a big project even if they don't have experience in debris clearing and search explosive ordnance?)

Lininding claimed the contractor was included in a 2018 list of blacklisted companies.

"So, how come sa laki ng problema natin, ang pinili pa nila na contractor ay itong may hindi magandang record? May nakikita tayong something na pinapapaboran ito," he said.

(So, how come with such a big problem, they chose a contractor with a blemished record? We believed they were favored.)

The NHA has yet to respond to the group's allegations.

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

In October last year, a peacebuilding organization said over 100,000 residents were still living outside the most affected area of Marawi.

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