Robredo calls for more urgency in Marawi rehab 3 years after city's liberation

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 18)— Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday called for a "more urgent approach" in the rehabilitation efforts for Marawi, three years after the city was freed from an armed group's grip.

In a statement, Robredo said "equitable and inclusive progress" should be achieved for the people of Marawi, noting that thousands of residents remain displaced following the deadly 2017 siege.

"Liberation entails much more than silencing the gunfire," Robredo said, pointing out how the city has yet to reclaim a "semblance of normalcy."

"Today we remember the Marawi we lost, even as we renew the call for a more urgent approach to the rehabilitation process, and recommit to the rebuilding of a more peaceful and prosperous city."

"The siege may have been lifted, but the Marawi of today reminds us: violent extremism remains among the biggest threats to society. And to truly address it, frustrations must be met with compassion… Equitable and inclusive progress must be achieved for the people of Marawi," she added.

The Vice President also honored the government troops and other victims of the conflict, which left over 1,100 people dead.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi from Islamic State-linked fighters in October 2017, some five months after the war broke out.

Officials and lawmakers have continuously appealed for the government to fast-track the rehabilitation programs for the city, especially with new challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Task Force Bangon Marawi Chairperson Eduardo del Rosario earlier said the government is now working double time to meet its December 2021 deadline to reconstruct public facilities in Marawi which was "somewhat slowed down" by the current health crisis.