‘Very sorry’ for declaring martial law, Duterte tells Maranaoans » Manila Bulletin News

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By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is “very sorry” for declaring martial law in Mindanao but argued he was forced to do it to quell the rebellion and violence perpetrated by Islamic militants in Marawi City.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers a speech during his visit at the Iligan City National School of Fisheries on June 20, 2017 where 229 displaced families have taken shelter. (REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO | Manila Bulletin)

The President offered the apology as he promised to allocate an initial P20 billion for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City during a visit to the displaced families taking shelter in Iligan City last Tuesday.

“I would like to say to the Maranao people that I am very, very, very sorry na nangyari ito sa atin. Sana madaling panahon, you will find  heart to forgive my soldiers, ang gobyerno, pati ako for declaring martial law,” the President said.

“Wala akong choice eh sinisira na ang Marawi. I have to drive them out. But I am very sorry. Paki-abot na lang doon sa mga kapatid nating mga Maranao na ang aking paghihinanakit rin sa nangyari na ito. Patawarin ninyo po kami,” the President said.

The President placed Mindanao under martial law following the violent attack by the Islamic State-linked Maute group in Marawi City last month. Some groups however have opposed the 60-day martial rule, imposed last May 23, for supposed lack of basis.

In his speech before the Marawi evacuees, the President vowed to implement rebuilding efforts to restore peace and normalcy in Marawi, saying he would not abandon the affected families.

“This I will promise you, I will set aside initially P20 billion para maumpisahan, ‘yung mga mahirap ang unahin ko,” Duterte said.

“Huwag kayong mag-alala, tutulungan ko kayo, hindi ko kayo pababayaan, hanggang relocation. And then we will rehabilitate ang Marawi. Gaganda ‘yan ulit, gaganda ulit ‘yan,” he said.

After his visit to the Iligan evacuation center, the President traveled to Cagayan de Oro to visit wounded troops recuperating at a military hospital.

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