MARAWI CITY – Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), led by its Chairperson Eduardo Del Rosario on Saturday, led the ground breaking for the new Bato Mosque and inaugurated the newly reconstructed Agus 1 Bridge to mark the liberation of Marawi from Islamic State-inspired terrorists three years ago.
“In the previous months, we have been conducting numerous ground breaking ceremonies. But this time, (we’re having) a ribbon cutting for a completion of a very important project,” said Del Rosario.
He commended the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for completing the Agus 1, or the Banggolo Bridge, on time.
Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Secretary Carlito Galvez said the Banggolo Bridge became vital to the military troops during their fight against the terrorists.
“Have it not been for this bridge, it could have been difficult for government forces to successfully carry out its mission”, he said.
Galvez underscored that the bridge saved the lives of hundreds of Filipino soldiers.
“Now, the Banggolo Bridge will serve an entirely different purpose, it will help with social cohesion and mutual trust in understanding among residents,” he said.
DPWH District Engineer Omar P. Diron said the completion of the bridge, which included its widening, reconstruction and improvement, would be very beneficial to the people of Marawi as it would ease traffic congestion, while enhancing accessibility to the most affected area (MAA) for equipment, and rebuilding materials.
Sultan Camid Gandamra Sr. also conveyed the gratitude of the people of Marawi for the rebuilding of the Bato Mosque.
“Today, marks the milestone where a beloved landmark of a city, the Bato Mosque will be given a new lease of life. It will rise again from its bullet-ridden ruins into a place where people can pray to our creator, to give thanks and to reflect on life as we struggle to carry on three years after the Marawi Siege,” said Gandamra.
He also said that they, as Marawi residents, will always have pleasant memories of Masjid Bato, which was the site of the fiercest battles during the five-month siege.
“All of the sad memories of the siege and of this mosques’ tragic fate will hopefully fade soon as this special house of Allah will be rebuilt,” he added.
There will still be about 30 mosques that need be repaired or reconstructed inside MAA.
Among the first 16 mosques, nine were already identified, while seven are being reconstructed or repaired, according to Del Rosario.
“Leg work is now ongoing so that all these projects 16 mosques will start construction within the year. Grand mosque is also on the working stage para masimulan na rin,” he said.
“I am very happy that we can see now the most beautiful mosque not only in Marawi City but nationwide. Maipapakita natin at maipagmamalaki na world class ang Bato Mosque in Marawi City,” Del Rosario added.