- Noted architect said ravaged city should be turned into a memorial
- He suggested building new structures around the ruins instead
- He also agreed with president about Manila becoming dead in 25 years
MANILA, Philippines – Noted architect and expert urban Jun Palafox suggested that Marawi City should be left alone as a memorial to the victims of terrorism and atrocities committed by the Maute group.
“Suggestion ko [My suggestion is], let’s not rebuild the city. Make it a memorial for terrorism, memorial for those who died, and create new modern cities around Marawi and Lanao Lake that will be Islamic, interfaith, international, inclusive…more sustainable, environment friendly,” he told GMA News.
Palafox said the building of new structures should instead be made around the ravaged city.
“One-third of the road should be for trees and landscaping, one-third for pedestrian and bicycle, one-third for moving traffic vehicle,” he said. “We can create Marawi a gateway.”
Vice President Leni Robredo had previously made a similar suggestion about memorializing Marawi.
As for Manila, Palafox agreed with President Rodrigo Duterte’s view that the city will be dead in 25 years due to overcongestion.
“It’s happening now. In 1976 I worked with the World Bank, for Metro Manila. What we said then, Metro Plan Manila, it was one of the best metro plans in the world. Kaya ako nakilala [Because of that I became known] overseas,” he said. “We said that time, with the do-nothing scenario, we will have catastrophic traffic, catastrophic planning, lack of decent housing. And what do we have now?”
Palafox also lamented the government’s alleged deaf ear to his plans only to plagiarize them when disaster strikes.
“Sa bayan natin, magpropose ako, iniinsulto pa ko na alarmist daw ako [In our country, when I propose, I am insulted as an alarmist], hungry for publicity. Then kapag disaster na [When disaster strikes], they plagiarize my recommendation,” he said.