Palace says Marawi folk can return home, no truth to reported bar on displaced


Posted at Oct 20 2020 01:41 PM | Updated as of Oct 20 2020 08:52 PM

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Residents of Marawi City can return home, Malacañang said Tuesday, after a non-government organization claimed that the war-torn city's people have yet to find true liberation 3 years since the end of the 5-month terrorist siege that left it in ruins. 

Marawi residents are allowed to return as long as they apply for a building repair permit, said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.

"Wala pong katotohanan iyong report ng isang alleged NGO na hindi raw pinababalik ang mga IDPs (internally displaced people). Nakakabalik na sila, kailangan lang kumuha ng permit para naman kasi sa safety," he told reporters. 

(There is no truth to the report of an alleged NGO that the IDPs have yet to return. They can return, they just need to get a permit for their safety.)

Most Marawi residents have yet to return to their homes and many have failed to receive government aid, the Marawi Reconstruction Conflict Watch, composed mostly of Maranaos and Muslim professionals, said over the weekend. 

Some 2,000 Marawi residents have applied for building permits and about 800 are repairing their homes, said Roque.

"Hindi pa praktikal na payagan lahat ng residente na bumalik dahil wala pang tubig at ilaw, at wala pang matutuluyan. Magiging isang malaki at magulong evacuation center lang ang mangyayari," he said. 

(It's not practical for all residents to be allowed to return. There is no water and power connection yet, no shelters. It will just be a big evacuation center.)

The government earlier said Marawi rehabilitation projects remain "on track" and were set to be completed by December 2021.