President Rodrigo Roa Duterte looks at the a miniature model of the terrain of Marawi City as National Housing Authority General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. shows the location of the ongoing projects under the Marawi Rehabilitation Program during the commemoration of the 4th Anniversary of the liberation of Marawi from terrorist influence at the Rizal Park in Marawi, Lanao del Sur on October 16, 2021. With them are Senator Christopher Lawrence Go and Task Force Bangon Marawi chairperson and Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario. KARL ALONZO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MARAWI CITY – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Saturday commended the members of Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), led by Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, for their unwavering commitment to bring back the glory of the only Islamic City in the country.

The Commander in Chief, who personally led the commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Marawi inside the ground zero, lauded the whole Task Force and its partners for a job well done in ensuring the success of Marawi’s rebuilding process.

“It is my pleasure to join you today as we mark this historic occasion by allowing the rays of hope to light up the darkness that once enveloped the city of Marawi. I congratulate and commend the Task Force Bangon Marawi, as well the local officials and other partners, for working together to rehabilitate the city,” President Duterte said.

“I especially commend the efforts and sacrifices you have put up on the complete rehabilitation of the Grand Mosque of Marawi. This place holds historical and cultural significance in the lives of the Maranaos, who will rejoice as a nation as the Grand Mosque of Marawi brings hope to our Muslim brothers and sisters,” he added.

According to the President, the TFBM and its implementing agencies have been steadfast in rebuilding the lives of displaced families, as well as in restoring damaged properties and revitalizing disrupted socio-economic activities.

“You have stayed true to your commitment as agents of progress and catalyst for change,” he stressed, vowing that all ongoing projects meant to ensure the city’s return to progress will be completed the soonest possible time.

“Let me take this opportunity to reassure the people of Marawi that the government is doing its best to expedite the completion of rehabilitation projects at the soonest possible time. We in government are strongly committed to bring back the city’s glory and we will continue to foster cooperation among concerned stakeholders so that Marawi will be able to build back better and stronger,” the President noted.

Earlier, President Duterte inaugurated the newly reconstructed Grand Mosque. Senior government and Cabinet officials also joined the Commander in Chief in celebrating the historic event.

According to Secretary Del Rosario, the President’s visit to Marawi is very significant as he was able to convey his full support to the Rehabilitation and witness first-hand what the TFBM had achieved do far.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte attends the commemoration of the 4th Anniversary of the liberation of Marawi from terrorist influence at the Rizal Park in Marawi, Lanao del Sur on October 16, 2021. KARL ALONZO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Also part of the activities that were carried out in line with the commemoration of the fourth anniversary were the groundbreaking ceremony of the Department of Information and Communications Technology Telecommunication Building in Barangay Datu Naga and the virtual signing of a pact meant for the reconstruction of the Bubong Madaya Mosque.

The TFBM chief likewise spearheaded the turnover of 250 permanent housing units in Pamayandeg sa Ranao Residences at Dansalan located in Brgy. Kilala and Mipantao Gandongan in coordination with the National Housing Authority, UN-Habitat and the government of Japan.

A new school building was also rolled out and a ceremonial handover of school furniture was held thereafter, a Joint project of Save the Children with DepEd. An inspection of permanent shelters in Barangay Patani was likewise carried out as part of this weekend’s activities.

A wreath-laying ceremony, meanwhile, was held on Oct 16 at Kampo Ranao in honor of soldiers, as well as civilians, who sacrificed their lives in warding off the terrorists during the five-month siege from May 23, 2017 to Oct. 17, 2017. (30) — CVC