Duterte, MILF create ‘peace corridor’ in Marawi

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Philippine Marines advance their positions as more soldiers reinforce to fight the Maute group in Marawi City, Monday. Erik De Castro, Reuters

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have agreed to establish a “peace corridor” to help civilians affected by ongoing fighting between government and Maute terrorists in Marawi City, Malacañang announced Wednesday. 

The peace corridor “will ensure the safety of civilians and the delivery of the needed humanitarian aid for the displaced persons,” said Irene Santiago, chairperson of the Implementing Panel tasked by Duterte to oversee humanitarian efforts in Marawi. 

A map uploaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) on their website showed that the peace corridor will cover several municipalities in Lanao Del Sur, including Malabang, Calanogas, Pualas, Ganassi, Madamba, Madalum, Bacolod Kalawi, Tugaya, Balindong and Marantao. 

Humanitarian groups, she added, could use a secure space to evacuate wounded and trapped civilians, as well as retrieve bodies for burial. 

The corridor will also be a safe space for goods for people in the rural areas, where access to Marawi’s markets have been cut off, said Santiago. 

 

Duterte allowed the plan when he met with MILF leaders in Davao City last Monday.

The MILF has assured the government that they will cooperate to secure the safety of these areas. 

Both parties are set to meet this week to discuss the parameters of the peace corridor.

“Both the government and the MILF implementing panels are strongly committed to work as partners in finding creative ways to address the root causes of violent conflict in Mindanao at the soonest possible time, starting with the passage of the Bangsamoro enabling law,” Santiago said.



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