• Rehab commission to rebuild marawi eyed


    The government was urged on Monday to establish a rehabilitation commission that will oversee the reconstruction of war-ravaged Marawi City.

    Military analyst Jose Antonio Custodio, a former professor of the University of the Philippines – Diliman, said in a news forum that the government will need the help of other countries to normalize the situation in Marawi.

    BOMBING RESUMES Smoke billows after Philippine Air Force planes bombed positions of the Maute group in Marawi on Monday, hours after an eight-hour ceasefire declared by the military to allow Muslims to observe the end of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO

    “Reconstruction is now part of the counter extremism and terrorism plan. Injustice is still the very origin of extremism and the only sure way to prevent the people from becoming terrorists is by solving the economic and social problems,” Custodio said in a news forum held in Manila.

    He said the commission will also determine the origin of terrorism and what measures should be implemented to curb the tide of extremism, find out the extent of foreign influence and unmask local politicians in connivance with the terrorists.

    Custodio said that China, Japan and the United States will surely lend a hand to help Marawi City rise again.
    A team from the University of the Philippines that recently visited Marawi City said thousands of evacuees need humanitarian help.

    International Studies Professor Sarah Raymundo and All Workers Unity spokesman Felix Parinas who visited evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur and attended a forum in Iligan City said the evacuees need food and medicines.

    The two visited the evacuation centers in Barangay Turil and Pawak in Saguiaran town in Lanao del Sur and in the town of Pindalunan.

    “In Turil, the evacuation is not registered, there are 400 families occupying three floors of a Muslim school. They only have one faucet. They need food like rice,” said Parinas, adding that evacuees there have yet to receive aid from the national government.

    Families staying in the evacuation center in Pawak have received relief goods from the government but the children there need medical attention.

    “Sick evacuees prefer to stay at the center instead of seeking medical help at a hospital. They don’t like to undergo strict inquiry where authorities require them to present identification cards. Or else, they will be subjected to investigation,” he added.

    He also urged the setting up of tent schools so that children can continue their studies.
    “What is important is that they have the chance to learn,” Raymundo said.

    The UP team had submitted their recommendations to university officials and they expect that a contingent will be sent to distribute relief goods and provide services to evacuees, including psycho-social counselling.

    “There is a 12-year-old boy who just sits in one corner and who does nothing but looks at the screen of his cellular phone. When I asked him, he said he was waiting for the text or call of his father who is still in Marawi City,” Raymundo said.


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    1. John Chameleon on

      To normalize the situation in Marawi can only be attained by obliterating the terrorist-criminal group of the Maute and their political protectors. That’s the only way. Negotiating with them is equal to surrender. Talking to them is giving them another chance to raise hell whereever they choose. I hope the President has the word of honor when he said, “Kill them.”

    2. This is another advice from an academic who doesn’t seem to understand the financial dimension of the issues involved in a redevelopment. First of all, we can not call it “rehabilitation” because the term connotes building from the ruins the same structures or institutions before the deluge. The better term should be redevelopment which is to install new values, institutions and mores to supplant the existing norms. Second, the concept of requesting again for foreign assistance is a reflection of a colonial mentality and mendicancy that afflicts Philippine bureaucracy – that for a scratch from playing hide-and-seek, you call your uncle in the States to send you a band-aid when a few pesos can get you the band-aid from the sari-sari store in the corner.

      While actual physical work may take time, the redevelopment of the city is a very simple proposition and the whole planning can be done in a week’s time. The actual Urban Plan can take three months altho the financial arrangements can already be started on Day One. If Sec. Rudy can do a “good martial law” in laying out the free wifi along EDSA, it surely can just get one guy to do a “good martial law” to start the whole process – so long as the guy has an understanding and appreciation of technical and financial issues to complete the process. Actually, the solution is already with the Mindanaoans and it only needs a little tweaking of the head to do so.