Prelate has mixed feelings as Marawi siege ends
Photo. A plume of smoke rises over Marawi City following airstrikes by Philippine Air Force, June 26, 2017. CBCPNews
MANILA— A Catholic prelate has expressed mixed feelings after the government declared an end to five months of fighting in the southern Philippine city of Marawi.
Bishop Edwin dela Peña of the Marawi prelature said he is “happy” that the siege is over, while hoping that the rehabilitation of the city can proceed at “dizzying pace”
“However, I’m also sad because there is practically no house to go home to for the Marawi residents including us at St. Mary’s Cathedral,” Dela Peña said.
The clashes caused the death of at least 1, 131 people, including 919 militants loyal Islamic State and 165 soldiers and policemen.
As much of the city lies in ruins, thousands of the displaced have been staying in temporary shelters on the outskirts of the city.
“It’s going to be traumatic for some to see their homes uninhabitable. No house to go home to for some Marawi residents,” he said.
The government on Monday has officially declared an end to all combat operations against the Maute terrorists and paving the way to rehabilitation of the war-torn city.
Officials said the government said it will need more than P50 billion to rebuild the city, citing massive damage caused by the conflict. CBCPNews