The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is only complying with its role as protector of the Filipino people when it allowed a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur Sunday, the area where military units are battling Maute Group terrorists for the past two weeks.
“But these initiatives are necessary and called for to allow safe passage to the residents adversely affected by the terrorist affront to our security and sovereignty,” AFP public affairs office chief Col. Edgard Arevalo said.
The four-hour ceasefire took effect 8 a.m. and ended 12 noon.
“The AFP places premium to the lives and limbs of non-combatant civilians victimized by this terrorist group that has threatened and openly, directly, and notoriously challenged government and its security forces,” Arevalo stressed.
A “peace corridor” was allowed to operate for four hours so that rescue workers can moved trapped Marawi City residents to safer grounds with the benevolence of our well-meaning and concerned citizens and peace inclined organizations.
The AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla earlier said the humanitarian ceasefire was initiated by Government Implementing Panel for the Bangsamoro Peace Accords Chairperson Irene Santiago.
This was approved by the AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año, he added.
“(The humanitarian ceasefire) will allow entry of humanitarians from the local government unit, non-government organizations, and civil society organizations in order to reach trapped residents and those needing assistance,” Padilla added.
“The military, however, did not approve entry into high risk areas to avoid putting our humanitarians in danger and any possibility that may complicate the situation,” he stressed.
Fighting in Marawi City against Maute Group terrorists has been on its second week with 120 of the lawless elements killed and 38 killed in the government side with 19 civilians believed to be executed by the brigands. (Priam F. Nepomuceno/PNA)

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