‘Marawi needs more than P50 b’

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said P50 billion will not be enough to rebuild the southern city of Marawi, citing massive damage caused by the conflict between government troops and Islamic State-linked militants that’s been running for almost four months.

In a Saturday night speech after presenting a police officer released by communist rebels to the media, Duterte also said he wants the budget that was slashed from the Commission on Human Rights to be spent instead on police equipment. He had accused the human rights chief of being a spokesman of his political opponents, who he alleged want him ousted as President.

Duterte said his drug war will continue and that big-time personalities will be hunted down even as the campaign has led to killings of teenagers, inflaming public indignation.

President Rodrigo Duterte

“There are some people who died, even teenagers, it doesn’t mean to say that you have to stop. We cannot stop,” he said.

Duterte said he’s still considering if he will resume peace talks with communists after they released the police officer taken as hostage. He said he will take into account the views of the police and the military.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said foreign donations for the rehabilitation and repair of Marawi continued to pour in.

In a Palace news briefing, Lorenzana said that more than P2.1 billion has been pledged by foreign governments for the war-torn city, while more than P50 billion would be needed for the city’s complete rehabilitation. 

The United States has announced P730 million in humanitarian assistance, while Japan and Thailand both donated P100 million. 

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