Duterte assures residents gov't won't leave Marawi until fully rebuilt
President Rodrigo Duterte assured on Tuesday residents in war-torn Marawi City the government would not leave the city until it is fully rebuilt.
In a speech during the distribution of certificate of acceptance and occupancy of temporary shelter units in Marawi, Duterte said while the city is a military reservation, areas which are claimed by the residents and will be affected by the establishment of military camp, will be paid.
"I'm going to set a camp here, but I will pay you," he said.
Duterte said the government is trying to build a new city.
"I will guarantee you that there will always be money for you. That you'll be able to rehabilitate your business," he said.
He also urged Marawi residents to make the city beautiful and welcome everybody.
Duterte stressed that religion should not be an issue.
He noted that when he was taking up law and he had a roommate who had a Tausug blood and even at the Philippine Military Academy, "the issue of religion is never discussed even in whispers."
He urged the Maranaos to invite Christians in the city and provide them security.
"Let us build a community for our children. Let us avoid drugs so that our children won't become loggerhead," he said.
"I'm appealing to you, redirect your paradigm, your mindset and allow progress to take place. You will need the Christians as the Christians need the Muslim population," Duterte added.
Marawi was destroyed due to five-month infighting that lasted until October between the government troops and the Islamic State-inspired Maute terrorists. Celerina Monte/DMS