Senate President Koko Pimentel III on asked government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and concerned citizens to unite in rebuilding Marawi City.
Called the Islamic City for its distinctive Islamic edifices and culture, Marawi City was brutally attacked by members of the Maute terrorist group in an attempt to establish a province of ISIS in Southeast Asia.
“The attack of the Maute group is not just against Marawi, but on the entire Philippines. Let us show them that they cannot succeed in dividing us”, Pimentel said.
The senate chief announced that he intends to form an ad hoc Senate committee dedicated to the reconstruction of Marawi.
He said, “I am calling on national government agencies, local government units, planners, donors, ordinary citizens – let’s make sure Marawi bounces back higher and better than it was before this cowardly terrorist attack.”
Based on a briefing by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), led by Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy, Pimentel discovered that even before the siege, Marawi’s basic services were already in a poor state.
“We inoculate ourselves against the spread of terrorism if we make sure that all Filipinos are given what they deserve in terms of education, health, and other government services”, he said.
An advocate of Federalism for a more equitable development of all Philippine regions, Pimentel noted that terrorists generally recruit among those who feel disaffected with or neglected by the central government.
“We always say we are one nation. Let us prove it with action. Let the residents of Marawi feel that we did not abandon them in their hour of need”, said Pimentel.
The Mindanao-born senator is confident that his call will be heard by Filipinos.
“Filipinos are always willing to help. The case of Marawi will not be an exception”, he said.