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VP Robredo calls for fast-tracking rehab of Marawi temporary shelters

Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday called on concerned government agencies to expedite rehabilitation efforts in the war-affected Marawi amid COVID-19 threat, three years after the bloody siege of the Islamic city by militants.

In a statement, Robredo said that “to this day,” the country’s lone Islamic city still “lies in ruins, and its people’s lives are frozen in time” since May 23, 2017 when the  bloody siege began.

“Many of its residents remain in temporary shelter communities,” she said.

The siege of Marawi erupted this day, three years ago, when Islamic State-allied militants seized control of the city. The battle between soldiers and militants ended five months later when the militant leaders were killed.

Robredo, however, said “Marawi continues to suffer even as we all face the challenges brought about by COVID-19. The ongoing crisis should have by now made us realize: The suffering of one redounds to the suffering of all.”

With this, the vice president call on “all concerned agencies to accelerate their actions while exercising full transparency.”

“Marawi is not merely a tragedy to be remembered; it is an ongoing problem that needs to be solved,” she said.

“Three years of inaction and neglect in Marawi is a thousand days too long,” she said.

Robredo emphasized that temporary shelter communities pose an even more profound challenge given the virulent COVID-19.

“Any outbreak in these tightly-packed communities will increase the risk for all of us, and affect a public health system that is already under tremendous strain,” she noted.

“Magkakarugtong ang diwa at pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino. Ang hamon sa isa ay hamon sa lahat; ang pagpapabaya sa isa ay pagpapabaya sa lahat; ang ginhawa at pag-angat ng mga nasa laylayan ay pag-angat ng lahat. Healing requires the entire nation to bring its resources to bear,” she said.

The vice president also said that the country will celebrate Eid’l Fitr, “a Muslim holiday whose message of compassion and inclusiveness should resonate with every Filipino regardless of creed.”—Ted Cordero/LBG, GMA News