China pledges P1.15-B donations for Marawi rehab

CHINA on Wednesday pledged to grant 150 million Renminbi (RMB) or around P1.15 billion for the restoration and rehabilitation of Marawi, the Islamic city devastated by a five-month armed conflict between government troops and terrorists inspired by global terror group Islamic State.

This was announced by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in a joint statement with President Rodrigo Duterte that was delivered at Malacañang Palace on Wednesday afternoon.

"The Chinese side supports the efforts made by Mr. President and thh Philippine government in upholding the security and stability of your country," Li said.

"The Chinese government will provide 150 million RMB of grants for the rebuilding and improvement of livelihood in Marawi to demonstrate the support of the Chinese people," he added.

China provided assistance to the Philippines when the Marawi conflict erupted on May 23, 2017.

Duterte, in his previous speeches, said China's assault rifles were the ones that killed Isnilon Hapilon, alleged emir of IS in Southeast Asia, and Omar Maute, one of two brothers who led the Maute Group.

Their death in a dawn raid by government troops on October 16 led to liberation of Marawi, as declared by Duterte on October 17. Less than a week later, or on October 23, government forces declared an end to the war.

Prior to the issuance of their joint statement, Duterte told Li that the Philippine government was elated by China's support when Marawi City was under siege by Islamist fighters.

"Let me also assure you that during the critical stage of the Marawi incident, where we needed help badly, it was China who responded immediately for our cry for help," Duterte said in a bilateral meeting with Li. (SunStar Philippines)
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