The resolution of the crisis in Marawi City is coming soon, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said Wednesday in response to the clamor of the business community to end the armed conflict in the capital of Lanao del Sur.
“Business people are looking for a quicker solution, and I believe it is coming in soon,” Dominguez said during a briefing on the sidelines of the Philippine Development Forum 2017 in Mandaluyong City.
The economic team of the Duterte administration with the business community to discuss key programs they want the government to adopt this year.
“Although the conflict has lasted for two months, it has not spread and it’s only the terrorists who are involved,” Dominguez said.
“The other Muslim groups are not involved in this action at all. So it’s really an anti-drug, anti-terror operation,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation 216 on May 23, declaring martial law and suspending the writ of habeas corpus in Mindanao, as government troops and the ISIS-linked Maute group battle it out in Marawi.
The constitutionally mandated 60-day validity of Proclamation 216 was supposed to end on July 22, but Duterte asked Congress to extend martial law until December 31.
Dominguez noted the clash between government troops and terrorist forces in Marawi was related to the campaign against illegal drugs.
“First of all, we have to understand that the conflict in Marawi– to some extent – comes from the result of a successful war against drugs,” he said.
“We all know that the terrorists there, the Maute gang, were involved in the drug trade and with the pressure of the successful program of President Duterte against drugs, I guess their cash flow was affected,” the Cabinet official noted.
Dominguez said the Maute group occupied Marawi to get recognized by the ISIS group. “They created this trouble to be able to qualify to get funds from ISIS by controlling an area,” he said.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the government is now drafting rehabilitation plans for Marawi. “Assessment needs to be undertaken,” he said. — VDS, GMA News