2 China firms blacklisted by World Bank join Marawi rehabilitation | Philstar.com

Mendez, C. (2018, May 24). 2 China firms blacklisted by World Bank join Marawi rehabilitation. Philippine Star. Retrieved May 24, 2018 from https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/24/1818069/2-china-firms-blacklisted-world-bank-join-marawi-rehabilitation

2 China firms blacklisted by World Bank join Marawi rehabilitation
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) – May 24, 2018 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Two Chinese firms blacklisted by the World Bank in 2009 for corruption in the Philippines are included in the consortium to rehabilitate war-torn Marawi City.
Malacañang, however, said the two firms – China State Construction Engineering Corp. and China Geo Engineering Corp. – are not disqualified under Philippine laws.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque yesterday said the World Bank blacklisting of corruption against the two Chinese firms for corruption would have no bearing.
“First thing, that record will not disqualify them,” Roque said.

Following Duterte’s non-combative stance toward Beijing in the South China Sea over recent developments, Roque said the government is not keen on imposing a ban on the two Chinese firms.
“I reiterate under the law that either provides for the Swiss challenge, the BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer Law) or the Government Procurement Act, the Philippine government should have them blacklisted for them to be disqualified in participating in any public tender,” Roque said.
The opposition Liberal Party (LP) on Tuesday said the World Bank blacklisted the two Chinese firms for corrupt practices in the Philippines.
“The people of Marawi already suffered enough,” the LP said in statement.
“The (Duterte) administration should not aggravate their pain by turning a blind eye on martial law abuses and counting on Chinese contractors with questionable backgrounds to take charge of Marawi City’s rehabilitation.”
Roque, however, said he would consult the officials of Task Force Bangon Marawi and call their attention to the issue.

Roque added the President skipped the commemoration of the first anniversary of the Marawi siege yesterday, saying the event is not something that should be celebrated.
Duterte did not have any public engagement, exactly a year after Maute terrorists occupied Marawi, burned several buildings and held hostage dozens of civilians.
“The commemoration of the siege itself is just about remembering. The siege by our enemies is not something that should be celebrated,” Roque said.
Nearly 1,000 terrorists, more than 160 soldiers and policemen and almost 100 civilians died during the siege, which prompted the President to impose martial law in the entire island of Mindanao.
Duterte has assumed full responsibility for the siege, admitting that he did not anticipate the clashes to last for four months.
More than P72 billion is needed to rebuild the main combat zone and surrounding areas, according to officials.
Malacañang also rejected appeals to lift martial law in Mindanao.
“Nobody wants to have martial law beyond the necessity of having martial law so the Palace would like to assure the public that the moment the need for martial law ceases, it will be lifted,” Roque said.
Duterte’s longtime aide Christopher Go said the President was not keen on visiting Marawi a year after it was “desecrated” by the Islamic State-linked Maute group.
“What we should do at this time is to reflect on the lessons we have learned during this dark chapter in our history, to prevent a similar incident from happening again in any part of our country and to sustain our efforts to rebuild and rehabilitate the city,” Go said.
Go said the President prefers to visit Marawi during the celebration of its liberation from the terrorists. Duterte declared Marawi liberated last Oct. 17.
“The President prefers to return to Marawi at a time when the lives of Maranaos have returned to normal,” he added.
‘Far from full recovery’
Hundreds of displaced residents still remain in emergency shelters as the threat of terrorists and unexploded bombs lingers in the ruins of Marawi that was held by the Maute group for five months last year.
Fr. Teresito Soganub, the priest who survived 117 days of captivity by the extremists in Marawi City, said it will take years for him and others to overcome the horror of having lived through airstrikes and gunbattles that constantly threatened them day and night.
“I’m still very, very far from a full recovery,” Soganub said.
“If it takes long to rebuild and reconstruct, it’s more difficult to deal with this psychological and psychiatric trauma.”
The government has yet to finalize a rehabilitation plan to rebuild the most devastated commercial and residential districts, where the carcasses of pockmarked homes, buildings and mosques stand eerily, gathering weeds in an urban wasteland guarded by troops.
Marawi’s journey back to normalcy may take years and at a huge cost, officials stressed.
Some officials warned that if the rehabilitation falters, the restiveness it would generate could be exploited by militants.– With Alexis Romero, Delon Porcalla, John Unson, Pia Lee-Brago, Roel Pareño, Michael Punongbayan, Rudy Santos, Marvin Sy, Elizabeth Marcelo, Mayen Jaymalin, AP, AFP

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/05/24/1818069/2-china-firms-blacklisted-world-bank-join-marawi-rehabilitation#0FxO3MfZivg3C55R.99

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