Duterte assures foreign funds for Marawi rehabilitation all accounted for
President Rodrigo Duterte assured on Friday the foreign governments and other donor agencies that the funds they have donated for rebuilding Marawi City are accounted for.
In a speech at the 25th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia, Duterte said that rehabilitation of Marawi has been ongoing.
"Do not worry. all the donors of the country. Your money is in the bank. They are all pledges," he said.
"And the money that Japan and everybody contributed are all accounted for. We have not spent the foreign aid assistance," Duterte said.
He said the government is spending first its own money.
"I assure you the bank has the money - Central Bank of the Philippines," he added.
A 2018 report by the Commission on Audit showed that the Office of the Civil Defense spent only P10,000 of the P36.9-million donation for the victims of Marawi siege.
"The poor utilization of the donated funds defeated the purpose of the donation and that the good intention of the donors for human consideration was not fully served," COA said.
Marawi was heavily devastated due to the five month battle between the government troops and the Maute-ISIS terrorist group in 2017.
Duterte also thanked Japan for its "enduring commitment" over many decades to build a peaceful and resilient Mindanao.
In the same speech, Duterte hailed the Philippine engagement with Japan.
"Japan is a reliable, responsive, and relevant partner. We value Japan’s recipient-driven approach to cooperation and development," he said.
"I am proud to note that our engagement with Japan is an exercise of responsible partnership. It is one that empowers rather than fosters dependency. It is underpinned by friendship and reconciliation, deepened through the years by mutual respect and understanding," Duterte said.
"This is the kind of relationship we seek with other countries, big or small," he added.
Duterte also reiterated his assurance to foreign investors their investments are safe in the Philippines.
"Well in my term, it is safe. Is there no corruption? There is no corruption. I have killed all of them already," he said.
The organizer had to cut short Duterte from his speech as he used up his allotted time. Celerina Monte/DMS