President Duterte defends Marawi rehab fund for Hajj

President Duterte defends Marawi rehab fund for Hajj

- President Rodrigo Duterte asked the Commission on Audit to reconsider the P5 million spent for Marawi residents to a Mecca trip

- COA asked HUDCC to give back the P5 million

- The President explained the importance of “hajj” to the Muslims

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President Rodrigo Duterte defended the use of Marawi rehabilitation fund to sponsor the “hajj” or the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia of selected Marawi internally displaced persons.

KAMI learned that the President asked the Commission on Audit (COA) to reconsider the P5 million fund that was spent.

In a report by the Inquirer (author Darryl John Esguerra), COA asked the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to give back the P5 million that was spent to send some Marawi internally displaced persons to Mecca.

“I’m asking COA to reconsider. Ano ba naman ‘yang P5 million? Actually ‘yang P5 million is worth billions in terms of your kind, I said generosity, to finance the poor people, Muslim para makapag-Hajj,” Duterte said.

“It’s not [about] financing a religious journey; do not take it in that sense. Take it as a pacification campaign. After all natives naman tayo dito and we were subjugated,” he added.

As reported by the Manila Bulletin (author Argyll Geducos), President Duterte explained the importance of Hajj to Muslims.

“’Yung pilgrimage sa Hajj mas importante ‘yan para sa mga Muslim kaysa isang mansion. You can forget about the housing there that are being planned by government. But to the individual Muslim believer… a single token of generosity para makapunta siya, makapag-Hajj, mas importante sa kanya ‘yan,” the President said.

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President Duterte recalled the time when he was still the Mayor of Davao City that the local government unit would set aside funds to sponsor the poor Filipino Muslims who dreamed of going to Mecca.

“I kept on sending. I started with 10, then 20, since 1988, and Inday is still doing it. Ngayon kung ipa-reimburse mo ‘yan, saan man ako maghanap ng pera? Eh, ‘di magpakulong na lang ako,” Duterte continued.

In a previous report by KAMI, President Duterte shared his messages for all the Muslims in celebration of Eid al-Fitr. He urged the Muslims to remain working with the government in promoting peace and that they may deepen their role as instruments of love.

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