Duterte takes full responsibility for Marawi devastation

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Davao City (CNN Philippines, October 30) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he takes full responsibility for what happened in Marawi City, as the government receives threats of a class suit for the devastation there.

"I declared martial law to answer the challenges of the moment and I take full legal, criminal, and civil liability," he said on Sunday before departing for his working visit to Japan.

"Ako 'yun. I hold myself solely responsible for what happened, including the incidents there, the events that transpired. Sabi ko, 'I take full responsibility for all,'" he added.

Some residents in Marawi are threatening to file a class suit against the government over what they claim is human rights abuses and the massive damage to the city.

The President declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, hours after fighting between government forces and ISIS-linked local terror group Maute broke out in Marawi City. The five-month long war, which ended on October 24, left the Islamic city in rubble. Duterte earlier said rebuilding Marawi may cost more than P50 billion.

Duterte said he supports the plan of the Marawi residents, saying they can even bring the case to the International Criminal Court. The ICC is ta

"I agree with you that if you have a gripe, and you think that justice should be done, and if they think that the Philippine courts would be prejudiced or biased, they can always go to the International Criminal Court," he said.

Some cause-oriented groups are also calling on Congress to launch an investigation into alleged abuses of security forces during the Marawi crisis.