MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to attend the inauguration of the newly-rehabilitated Grand Mosque in Marawi City on October 17.
Duterte confirmed the attendance during his pre-recorded Talk to the People delivered Thursday night but aired Friday morning.
In a meeting convened by Duterte at Malacañan Palace in Manila, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) chairperson and Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario bragged about the improved features of the Grand Mosque, the biggest house of worship in Marawi that was destroyed during the 2017 siege between government forces and Islamic State (IS)-linked terrorists.
“‘Yung Grand Mosque in 2017, destroyed, talaga pong lumang-luma (The Grand Mosque in 2017 was really destroyed and very old,” Del Rosario said. “Napakaganda ng Grand Mosque ngayon… I was so impressed because world-class ‘yung pagkakagawa ng ating contractor (The Grand Mosque looks really beautiful now… I was so impressed because the contractor made it appear world-class).”
Del Rosario also informed Duterte that the inauguration of the Grand Mosque is scheduled for Oct. 17.
He then asked if Duterte could attend the inauguration rites.
Duterte replied: “Yes. Pumunta nga ako noon during wartime, lalo na this time na (I went there during wartime, so I would also go this time that there is) something that we can be proud of.”
Del Rosario said Duterte’s presence would be highly appreciated by the Maranao people.
“The Maranaos will be very, very happy with your presence,” he told Duterte.
Around 30 infrastructure projects in Marawi City have already been completed, Del Rosario said.
The five-month battle between the military forces and IS-affiliated Maute terrorist group in Marawi City began on May 23, 2017.
On Oct. 17, 2017, Duterte declared Marawi City free from the Maute group.
The TFBM, created under Administrative Order 3 issued by Duterte on June 28, 2017, facilitates the rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction efforts in the Islamic City and helps displaced families recover following the government’s triumph against the terrorist group. (PNA)