AFP assures transparency on Marawi donations

MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Friday assured the public that there will be transparency and accountability on the local and foreign donations for those affected by the conflict in Marawi City.

“Accountability and transparency has been a main consideration. Kaya katulad nung mga binuksan nating bank accounts sa amin sa military, transparent tayo dito at nag-create ng committee para ma-address ‘yung paano gamitin ito,” AFP spokesperson Brigadier General Restituto Padilla, Jr. said during the regular Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañan.

He said the public can be assured that the donations given to fallen soldiers and victims of the Marawi conflict will be reported, noting that foreign donations will be taken care of by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Department of Finance.

“There will be appropriate reports to be prepared by the NDRRMC and the Inter-Agency Task Force Bangon Marawi, as a report to the public and to the donor countries on how it was spent. It’s our obligation and we will do that,” Padilla said.

Meanwhile, Padilla said the offensive and clearing operations have been progressing positively in all areas.

“Although still, areas of the four remaining problematic barangays are there, the number of areas held by these terrorists are dwindling by the day and the more we get into the area of these problematic barangays, we are able to clear more of the remaining buildings that have been left,” Padilla explained.

According to the AFP spokesman, the AFP is working overtime to expedite the liberation of Marawi City from the clutches of the terrorists.

“We are ensuring that once a building is cleared, this is guarded to ensure that it is not used as an area of safe haven again by fleeing enemy or hiding enemy in the area,” he said.

As for the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi, Padilla said the inter-agency task force Bangon Marawi is preparing to set up an initial tent city, which will be converted to a temporary resettlement.

“And as of this morning, we were informed that based on the plans, there will be about 3,000 of these units that will be set up to act as the temporary shelter for our evacuees whose houses have been damaged during the conflict,” Padilla said.

Padilla however said those residents whose homes had not been damaged by the conflict will be assisted in returning to their homes once the hostilities have ended and the all-clear signal has been given.

A temporary area for commercial establishments will likewise be provided to enable the delivery of services and business transactions.

In the same briefing, meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said that the Palace stands with the people of Leyte following the 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Leyte last Thursday.

“We condole with those who have lost their loved ones and we continue to stand with those who have loved ones who have been hurt,” Abella said.

He also assured that the government is deploying all available resources to rescue survivors and to return normalcy to the place.

“We continue to call on the resilient spirit of the Filipino to close ranks against the vicissitudes confronting our people. No matter what, we will rise again and we will rise into our destined greatness,” Abella said.

Abella, meanwhile, lauded the 2nd Quarter 2017 Social Weather Stations Survey, which showed that President Duterte’s satisfaction rating continues to increase.

“The survey result, 3 percent higher from March 2017’s 75 percent, is a clear indication of the growing confidence in the Chief Executive and his performance as the country’s leader,” Abella said, noting the public’s “tacit support” to President Duterte’s action following the rebellion in Marawi.

“This positive acknowledgement of the Filipino people further motivates the administration to work for the restoration of normalcy in Marawi and to start its rehabilitation as well as bring a comfortable life for all Filipinos, including Muslim Filipinos,” he said. PND/PNA-northboundasia.com