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Anti-China sentiment rises from the ashes of Marawi

buddywbuddyw PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐

Anti-China sentiment rises from the ashes of Marawi


Tempers are boiling in the war-torn Philippine city of Marawi as locals fume over the potential a Chinese-led consortium will rebuild their terrorism-wrecked neighborhoods without their consultation or agreement. The final decision will be made next month, though many locals believe the fix is in for the Chinese bid.

On April 1, displaced residents of the city’s main central battle ground were allowed by the military to visit their houses. Many were shocked by the devastation caused by the five-month battle between Filipino security forces and Islamic State-aligned fighters.

More than five months after the military declared victory in Marawi, the city’s 250 hectare “ground zero”, straddling 24 villages with an estimated population of 11,000 families, is turning into a new cauldron of discontent. First targeted by international terrorists, locals’ resentment is now shifting toward China.

Days before ground zero residents were allowed to visit their houses, thousands of displaced residents staged a prayer and protest rally in the embattled city castigating the China-led rehabilitation plan believed to be backed by the government.

Retired military general Eduardo del Rosario, the government’s housing czar and chairperson of the inter-government agency Task Force Bangon (Rise) Marawi, earlier said it had chosen the Bagong Marawi Consortium to rebuild the ruined city on the southern island of Mindanao.

The government has estimated the rebuild will cost over 51 billion pesos (US$1 billion).

Five Chinese firms, led by China State Construction Engineering Corp Ltd, Anhui Huali Construction Group Company, China Geo-Engineering Corp, TBEA Company and Shandong Jinyuan Homes Industry Development Co Ltd, make up the consortium.

Their Filipino partners are Future Homes Philippines Inc, A Brown Company Inc, H S Pow Construction and Development, and SDW Realty & Development Inc.

China State Construction Engineering is among Forbes’ top regarded global companies, with a market capitalization of US$43.2 billion as of May last year. President Rodrigo Duterte said that his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping gave him a US$79.5 million grant to help rebuild Marawi after a meeting earlier this month in Beijing.

Del Rosario has maintained that his task force held public consultations through a local Marawi government unit on its rehabilitation plans. The devastated area will see reconstruction of a lakeside promenade, economic zone, cultural and convention centers, resorts and hotels, among other structures.

In February, Duterte issued a directive suspending bidding on the rehabilitation contracts after designating a so-called “Swiss Challenge”, a scheme where private groups submit unsolicited proposals to the government, which after picking the best bids will invite other parties to match or offer better proposals.

But “ground zero” residents have already lambasted the government’s provisional rehabilitation blueprint. In a strongly-worded manifesto, the Ranaw Multi-Sectoral Movement appealed to Duterte to reject the rehabilitation blueprint drafted by the selected Chinese-led consortium and backed by del Rosario.

“Plans have been made without our participation. Plans that neither bear the stamp of our will nor reflect our culture,” the group’s statement said. “The will and vision of those who live far from us [Chinese companies… are being imposed upon us. This is an invasion of a different kind. This one threatens to rob our soul.”

The group also opposed the construction of a new military camp in Marawi that Duterte launched last January to beef-up security in the city and prevent a repeat of the months-long siege that killed 1,100 individuals, mostly Islamic militants.

The Marawi siege, which prompted Duterte to place the entire Mindanao island under martial law that has since been extended to the end of this year, displaced over 350,000 civilians, about half of whom continue to languish in evacuation centers or are staying with their relatives in neighboring areas of Marawi.

Del Rosario gave assurances his task force will conduct more ground consultations before the rehabilitation plan for ground zero is finalized next month.

Drieza Lininding, chair of Moro Consensus Group, a Marawi-based civil society organization, has warned the Chinese-led consortium that there could face trouble if they rehabilitate and rebuild the city without the consent of locals.

He said his group is ready to file legal suits against the consortium if they disregard local inputs and sentiments. Lininding did not rule out the possibility that residents could even take up arms and sacrifice their lives if they are left out of the rehabilitation process.

“We are not against the rehabilitation of Marawi’s ground zero as long as they respect our cultural and religious sensitivities,” Lininding told Asia Times, raising widespread concerns that the rehabilitation works will infringe on many private properties.

The government recognizes 6,000 hectares of Marawi as a military reservation, including parts of ground zero.

China had signaled well in advance it’s desire to play a leading role in reconstructing the war-torn urban area, the country’s only Muslim majority city. Malaysian firms also signified an interest.


  • buddywbuddyw PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Palace: Blacklisted Chinese firms deserve a chance

    MANILA, Philippines — The two Chinese companies previously blacklisted by the World Bank for corrupt practice deserve a second chance, Malacañang said Thursday.

    In 2009, the World Bank debarred China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC) for allegedly colluding with companies in the Philippines in connection to a bidding scheme for a major project in the country.

    The Philippine government tapped the two Chinese companies to participate in the rehabilitation of Marawi City despite being previously blacklisted by the Washington-based multilateral lender.

    Downplaying concerns over the possible involvement of the Chinese companies, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that "everyone is entitled to a second opportunity."

    "Itong dalawang kumpanya na CSCEC and China Geo Engineering Corporation sila naman po ay nakapag-serve na ng period kung kailan po sila'y na-blacklist ng World Bank. Ito po ay para sa taong 2014 and 2015," Roque said.

    Inter-agency Task Force Bangon Marawi had earlier released a similar statement, stressing that the blacklist period for the two Chinese firms has since lapsed.

    The CSCEC and CGC have been barred from participating in World Bank-financed projects for six and five years, respectively. The ineligibility period has been lifted since.

    Roque noted that the government and the media would work together in monitoring the rehabilitation projects for war-torn Marawi.

    "Tayo po ang magbabantay sa mga kontratista na bubuo ng bagong syudad ng Marawi so sama-sama po tayong magbabantay. 'Yan po ang ultimate assurance natin na gaganapin ng mga kontratista ang kanilang katungkulan," Roque said.

    The Liberal Party earlier expressed concern over the possible involvement of the Chinese firms in the Marawi rehabilitation as it might affect public confidence.

    "The people of Marawi already suffered enough. The 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," the opposition party said in a statement.

  • knorrknorr PExer

    Mga chekwas, nagkalat sa Marawi

  • xpopcornxxpopcornx PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Mga Dilawan lang naman ang umaangal dyan. :)
  • xpopcornxxpopcornx PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    Wala rin naman naitutulong ang mga Dilawan na yan...mga magnanakaw kasi. :)
  • badJayebadJaye PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    may mag counter bid kaya sa Swiss Challenge
  • buddywbuddyw PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    edited June 2018 #7

    WATCH: Marawi Resident: "Palpak po ang Task force bangon Marawi".

    Palpak umano ang binuong "Task Force Bangon Marawi" ng Administrasyon upang tulungan ang mga pamilyang lubhang naapektuhan ng gera sa lugar.

    Ayon sa Report ng politics, sinabi ng isang residente na "palpak" ang Task Force Bangon Marawi dahil hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa din nauumpisahan ang mga pinangakong pagaayos sa naturang Lugar.

    "Ito po yung patunay na dapat po balikan yan ng Duterte administrasyon dahil Palpak po ang ginawa nilang Task Force Bangon Marawi patunay po dyan hanggang nayon ay hindi pa na umpisahan yung sinasabi nilang magsisimulang proyekto sa Marawi City."

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  • buddywbuddyw PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    edited October 2018 #9

    Philippines revamp of battle-scarred Marawi turns to China

    Nearly a year after the Philippine military defeated Isis-affiliated militants who had occupied the southern city Marawi, the government is poised to launch a $1bn project to rebuild the ruined town.

    Controversially, for a country historically allied with the US — which helped the government win the battle — it wants to do so with Chinese help.

    Rodrigo Duterte’s government has shortlisted an affiliate of PowerChina, a state-owned engineering group, to head the project, which will see rubble cleared from Marawi’s deserted city centre and roads, sewers, schools and hospitals rebuilt.

    Military and government officials told the Financial Times that a groundbreaking ceremony for the project would be held soon, although the date had been pushed back repeatedly.

    “The groundbreaking will signal the start of the rehabilitation,” said Colonel Romeo Brawner, deputy military commander for the city. “It means there is a developer who has won the bidding process.”

    However, Mr Duterte’s government’s selection of PowerChina as the preferred bidder for the task drew criticism from Maranaos, the local majority-Muslim ethnic group, which said it was not consulted adequately.

    “My group is opposing any involvement of Chinese firms in Marawi City,” said Drieza Lininding, representative of the Moro Consensus Group, a civic organisation. “We have so many construction firms in the Philippines that could do it. Why bring in the Chinese?”

    The questions Filipinos are asking about the project come as other countries in Asia, including Malaysia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, pore over the fine print of big infrastructure projects backed by Beijing.

    The five-month siege of Marawi last year killed about 1,200 people, displaced more than 350,000 and raised fears of Isis gaining a beachhead in south-east Asia, at a time when the group was in retreat elsewhere. It began in May, when militants affiliated with Isnilon Hapilon, the head of the jihadist Abu Sayyaf group, faced off against government troops in Marawi’s dense city centre, holding a strategic bridge.

    During the battle, the Philippines received US intelligence and logistical support, along with help from China and other countries. Thousands of displaced people are still without homes.

    On a brief, military-escorted visit to the “most affected area” or Ground Zero, as Filipinos call the ruined city centre, the FT saw bomb and artillery damage reminiscent of devastated areas of Syria or the Gaza Strip, with streets strewn with debris and painted graffiti glorifying or vilifying Isis.

    Now a new battle is brewing over the task of rebuilding the city. Task Force Bangon Marawi, the government inter-agency body leading it, initially shortlisted another Chinese-led group, the Bangon Marawi Consortium.

    Then Rappler, a news website, reported that the consortium included two Chinese companies that had been blacklisted by the World Bank for years in 2009 for corrupt practices.

    When the BMC failed to show proof of its financial capacity to execute the project, the Philippine government tapped PowerChina, the second company on its short list.

    Despite a Chinese promise to invest $24bn in projects in the Philippines — including a $1bn proposed hydropower plant in Mindanao to be built by another PowerChina unit with a Philippine partner — few have materialised.

    Philippine authorities say they will submit PowerChina’s bid to a “Swiss challenge”, a procurement practice under which alternative bidders are invited to match or better a front-running bidder.

    But with authorities already speaking of Mr Duterte’s imminent arrival in Marawi for a groundbreaking ceremony, there has been no indication of a public call for alternative bids.

  • RazorhawkRazorhawk PEx Rookie ⭐
    edited October 2018 #10
    Well then, dont rehab marawi. If the residents want it done their way, they should pay for the rehab themselves. This would save us taxpayers billions.  Many of these residents are jihadist sympathizers. 

    Socialism is worthless. All it does is enrich the govt and their cronies, taxpayers foot the bill. 

    I say pay for your own rehab, there is no point paying chinese companies  billions of pesos to rehab a jihadist infested city like marawi. Let it rot and decay. 
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  • buddywbuddyw PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐

    Duterte snubs Marawi rehab groundbreaking

    President Rodrigo Duterte did not attend the groundbreaking for the rehabilitation of Marawi due to other commitments, Malacañang said.

    “(He) would personally like to join our countrymen and witness this historic occasion but he has to attend to equally important issues and affairs of the nation,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said on Tuesday.

    The groundbreaking rites, led by the Task Force Bangon Marawi, who is tasked to facilitate the rehabilitation of the war-torn city, took place at the Rizal Park early today.

    The ceremony finally pushed through after an almost five-month delay.

    Panelo said that Duterte commends the task force “for developing and implementing a comprehensive rehabilitation and recovery program, in consultation with Muslim leaders,” which is aimed at rebuilding a better and safer Marawi City.

  • BeerhandBopBeerhandBop PEx Influencer ⭐⭐⭐
    “My group is opposing any involvement of Chinese firms in Marawi City,” said Drieza Lininding, representative of the Moro Consensus Group, a civic organisation. “We have so many construction firms in the Philippines that could do it. Why bring in the Chinese?”

    To be fair, walang right sila to dictate who get the project, the project is "bidded" out. 

    but other than that, i see it as money comes from china, hence they get to dictate that only chinese firms are allowed to participate. 

    basta matanggal yung rubble, i could care less who does it. 

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