President Rodrigo Duterte is embarking on a “flawed policy of destroy and compensate” in Marawi City, an opposition lawmaker said.
“The havoc being inflicted on Marawi City is not principally the result of terrorist assault but primarily of air strikes and land offensive of government forces,” Representative Edcel Lagman of Albay said.
“No place in Mindanao has been destroyed before with excessive gravity by terrorist attacks compared to the massive destruction brought about by the military might in Marawi City,” he added.
He said the loss of lives and destruction of properties could have been avoided if the President did not declare martial law and suspend the writ of habeas corpus in Marawi.
Lagman and five other lawmakers filed a petition before the Supreme Court to nullify Proclamation 216 that placed the city under martial law and suspended the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus to quell the activities of the Maute terror group.
“The armed forces should have been allowed to subdue lawless violence without the pointless impetus and disastrous consequences of military rule,” he said.
As the fighting enters its fourth week, the President has begun distributing cash to civilians displaced by the violence. The evacuees in various makeshift centers have also begun suffering from disease and dehydration.
The government is reportedly going to spend P10 billion to rehabilitate Marawi City.