ILIGAN CITY, June 21 – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte visited Iligan City on Tuesday, June 20, to personally check the condition of evacuees currently being housed at the Iligan City National School of Fisheries in Barangay Buru-un here.
In his speech, Duterte vowed to give assistance to families affected by the Marawi siege from their immediate needs up to rehabilitation and recovery phase.
“Most important thing is that matulungan ko kayo. Huwag kayong mag-alala, tutulungan ko kayo, hindi ko kayo pababayaan, hanggang relocation,” Duterte said.
Duterte said the government will rehabilitate Marawi and will make it beautiful and livable again.
“But this I will promise you, I will set aside initially PHP20 billion para maumpisahan, ‘yung mga mahirap ang unahin ko,” he said.
The President also apologized to the Maranao people who have been affected by the attack of the Maute terror group.
“I would like to say to the Maranao people that I am very, very, very sorry na nangyari ito sa atin,” he said.
“Sana sa madaling panahon, you will find a new heart to forgive my soldiers, ang gobyerno, pati ako for declaring martial law. Wala akong choice eh sinisira na ang Marawi. I have to drive them out. But I am very sorry,” he added.
He provided financial assistance to the evacuees. Each family also received cash assistance from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Meanwhile, the President reiterated his promise to establish federalism as an effort to solve conflict and achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.
During his visit, the President was accompanied by his Cabinet officials.
Among them were Education Secretary Leonor Briones, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, Mindanao Development Authority Secretary Abul Khayr Alonto, Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Concerns Abdullah Mamao, and National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Chief Ricardo Jalad. (PND)