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Bakit ang bagal? Ping not thrilled over slow pace of Marawi rehab

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson is not quite thrilled over the slow pace of rehabilitation work in Marawi City, three years after it was attacked by Maute-ISIS terrorists.

Lacson lamented that while there are moves to rehabilitate Marawi, it is taking “quite some time” before taking off the ground.

“I think there are already moves to rehabilitate Marawi, only I submit that it’s taking quite some time before it takes off the ground. And it’s unfortunate,” he said in a meeting of the Rotary Club of Manila.

“When focus was on the Marawi siege, everybody seemed to want to attend to the needs of the people there. But once the issue turned cold, it seems the government has somehow not really forgotten but neglected its duty to rehabilitate Marawi,” he added.

During his speech before the Rotary Club of Manila, Lacson noted the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 could have prevented the 2017 Marawi Siege had it been in effect then.

He said there was no failure of intelligence because security forces were aware of the plan but could not move to prevent funds from reaching the Maute-ISIS group.

He said that during a meeting with lawmakers at the time to seek martial law in Mindanao, security forces showed video footage of the planning stage but could not act on it because under the 2007 Human Security Act, there is no feature to prevent preparatory acts.

“And they could not stop the flow of money from ISIS to local Maute groups. They are helpless because there’s no mechanism under the present law now. That’s why we are trying to strengthen that to include inchoate offenses and provide mechanism for the freezing of assets and funds,” Lacson said.

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