Task Force Bangon Marawi chair belies Washington Post article; Marawi “not a ghost city,” he says

Marawi farmers are seen selling their products on a street./Photo from Bangon Marawi website (http://bangonmarawi.com/2019/02/04/marawi-farmers-receive-agri-inputs-training-to-increase-yield/)/

(Eagle News) — The head of Task Force Bangon Marawi belied on Tuesday, Feb. 19, a Washington Post article that said Marawi remained a “ghost city” almost two years after local terrorists overran it.

“We would just like to say the reality on the ground na ito ay walang katugmang nangyayari on the ground na ghost city siya but instead, it’s full of economic activity,” TFBM chair Eduardo del Rosario said in a press conference.

According to Del Rosario, such was the economic activity in the city those who wish to get there take a long time before doing so because of the traffic.

He said the Washington Post article merely “overly dramatized negatively” the situation in the city.

“If the writer of the article was referring to the most-affected area, that is only 250 hectares and that was devastated during the siege for five months,” Del Rosario said, adding the figure represents only  “.03 percent of the total area of 8,000 hectares.”

“So, wala pong katotohanan ang lumabas sa The Washington Post. Kasi lahat ng nakakusap natin natutuwa nga. Bakit mong sasabihin na ghost city?” he added.

The Washington Post article written by Shihbani Mahtani and Regine Cabato was published on Feb. 1.

In arguing Marawi remained a “ghost city,” the article said “not a single new structure has been built” there and “almost none of the debris has been cleared.”

It added the city’s “recovery is plagued by disorder and false starts, creating one of the region’s largest and most overlooked humanitarian crises.”