Duterte vows to rebuild Marawi

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President Rodrigo Duterte hosts a Palace dinner after a 6-day hiatus from public eye.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 27) — President Rodrigo Duterte gave his word on Tuesday that he would see to it that Marawi would rise from the ruins of war brought about by religious extremists.

Duterte, who was last seen in public last Tuesday when he visited Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, gave the assurance as he hosted a dinner at Malacañang in celebration of Eid'l Fitr.

Related: Duterte: I was forced to declare martial law to prevent civil war

"But one thing I will promise you, my brother Moro, I will see to it that Marawi will rise as a prosperous city again," he said.

The President mentioned that "Task Force Bangon (Rise Up) Marawi" was already being created to fast track recovery efforts.

If the previously announced ₱20-B budget for this needed to be increased, he said he would look for money.

"Dahan-dahan lang (gradually). We will rebuild Marawi to what it was before or better this time."

The chief executive said he needed to prioritize the rehabilitation of the destroyed city because if not, he would "remain forever" a "kontrabida (villain)."

The 72-year-old leader was alluding to the suffering of tens of thousands of residents displaced by the conflict. He had also apologized to the Maranaos for declaring martial law and uprooting them from their homes.

Duterte also expressed how much he was hurting over what's happening in the country's Islamic city.

He said had the Maute-ISIS terrorists been mainstream rebels, he would even plead peace with them, just like with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

But as it turned out, Duterte lamented, all the terrorists wanted was wanton destruction.

"Papaano tanggapin natin 'yan tapos magpunta dito? How can we improve on our lives, about our lives, kung may papasok na ganon na ideolohiya na wala nang ginagawa kung 'di pumatay and to behead, just like no other business."

[Translation: How can we accept that? How can we improve on our lives, about our lives, when they come here with that ideology of killing, beheading like nobody's business.]

He added that he was "bleeding" inside over what's happening to the point that he didn't watch television anymore to avoid seeing news about the battle in Marawi — saying he would just turn the tv off or simply switch to cartoons.

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.