Up to Task Force Marawi if economic zone, military camp to be established in the city, Palace says
Setting up a military camp inside Marawi City and converting the war-torn area into an economic zone would be up to the interagency Task Force Marawi, Malacanang said on Monday.
Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the statement following the appeal of some Marawi residents last week not to consider these plans.
"I think it's too early to say whether the President will act on that request. We’ll leave it to the Task Force Bangon Marawi to consider that, to take that into account and to evaluate whether the existence or non-existence of a military camp inside Marawi City is advisable and whether or not converting it into an economic zone will be for the betterment of the city or not. That’s all for the Task Force to evaluate and decide on," he said.
The government has allowed for the first time residents to visit Marawi main battlefield during the five-month siege last year by the Maute-ISIS terrorists starting April 1 before the rehabilitation program starts next month.
Guevarra also assured residents would be consulted before the rehabilitation begins following their complaints.
"I’m sure that residents themselves will be given an opportunity to make their own proposals on how to rehabilitate their own city. There could be, you know, sort of misunderstanding," he said.
He added the task force also needs to consider cultural and historical aspects of the residents in the area.
"So when you are restoring something, you are bringing it back to its condition before ‘no, of course with much improvement but essentially the essence of Marawi City as a Muslim City will have to be taken into account in the restoration process," he explained.
The government initially planned to flatten the so-called ground zero when it rebuilds Marawi. Celerina Monte/DMS