However, rallyists gathered at the Lanao People’s Park, also called Kilometer Zero, on 30 March 2018 for a Peace Protest and Prayer Rally. The rallyists wanted to enter the MAA; however, security forces were positioned at the Rapitan Bridge in Bo. Fort, Marawi City. It was made clear to the rallyists that, only duly coordinated and scheduled visits are permitted in the MAA because of the dangers of Unexploded Ordinances (UXOs) and Improvise Explosive Devices (IEDs), to include high risk structures.
It has been observed that approximately 80% of the rallyists are not residents of the Most Affected Area (MAA).
In this regard, the alleged lack of consultations in relation to the rehabilitation efforts for Marawi City has no factual basis since the Local Government Unit (LGU) and other stakeholders have been involved in the consultation process.
TFBM Spokesperson and Civil Defense Deputy Administrator for Administration Asec Kristoffer James E Purisima issued a statement on efforts to impede, disrupt, and undo the positive and significant milestones characterized by TFBM’s accomplishments.
“It is unfortunate to note that thoughtless and senseless opposition seeks to impede, disrupt, and undo the positive and significant milestones that characterize the momentum of efforts and initiatives accomplished by Task Force Bangon Marawi thus far through inclusive dialogue and consultation with all stakeholders.”
“The radicalism and violent extremism that destroyed the beloved Islamic City of Marawi is the same thoughtless and senseless opposition for opposition’s sake that is aimed at destroying the recovery and rehabilitation efforts before they even take root. These oppositors believe in nothing other than their own selfishness as they intend to thrive in the chaos and lack of comprehensive governance that once characterized our beloved Marawi,” said Asec Purisima.
He emphasized the strong commitment of the Task Force since its creation and called for engagement and support among stakeholders.
“Your Task Force has been working without pause since its establishment by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in June 2017. We have done so with pride and commitment undivided, in addition to the ordinary duties we continue to render to our mother agencies. We have come to serve because that is the call of the times. All stakeholders should, in a similar manner, engage with, contribute to, and support the initiatives and objectives of the Task Force towards the resilient rise of Marawi City because our Maranao brothers and sisters deserve nothing less than selfless unity of efforts.”
Further, TFBM stands firm in its commitment to engage all stakeholders in the comprehensive campaign against violence and lawlessness.
“As the Task Force continues to engage the unenlightened, we will not allow our efforts to be besmirched, tarnished, and dishonored by an outlying few who embrace ignorance, spread falsehood, and wish for failure to beset what should be a united front against violence and lawlessness and for the rekindling of lives and communities,” added Asec Purisima.