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Marawi Rehabilitation Delays Could Cast a Dark Shadow over Duterte’s Peace Legacy
Marawi Rehabilitation Delays Could Cast a Dark Shadow over Duterte’s Peace Legacy
Op-Ed / Asia

Marawi Rehabilitation Delays Could Cast a Dark Shadow over Duterte’s Peace Legacy

Originally published in The Diplomat

The glacial pace of the city’s reconstruction could fuel disillusionment among the region’s population.

The revelation wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it put into sharp focus the need for the Filipino government to get its priorities in order when it comes to the restive region of Mindanao. On November 19, the head of the government’s task force for the reconstruction of the city of Marawi, razed to the ground in 2017 during heavy fighting with jihadists, disclosed that only “about 20 to 30 percent” of the targeted reconstruction has so far been accomplished. This not only implies that the process will not be completed before the promised deadline of December 2021, but most likely that it will not happen before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022, casting a dark shadow over what could arguably be his greatest legacy: lasting peace in the country’s troubled south.

Three years after the end of the Marawi siege, which saw the Philippine military fight to take back a town captured by ISIS-affiliated fighters for a full five months, not only is the city still largely in ruins and 125,000 of its inhabitants still displaced, but public disaffection toward the government’s rehabilitation plans now threatens to fuel militancy and radical views that could lead to more violence in the region. The government has released only half of the budget required to rebuild the city, and earmarked a meager 5 billion pesos for next year, making it unlikely things will speed up in the near future.

Read the full article on The Diplomat's website.