Gov’t, MILF to secure ‘peace corridor’ for Marawi refugees, humanitarian aid » Manila Bulletin News

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By Genalyn Kabiling 

More than 300 peacekeepers from the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been deployed to secure the “peace corridor” established from Marawi City to Malabang, Lanao del Sur, the government’s chief negotiator said on Friday.

The creation of the peace corridor aims to provide a safe route for the evacuation of Marawi residents as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Members of the Philippine Army moves forward as they launch an assault against terrorist Maute Group at Brgy Sadok, Marawi City, May 25, 2017.
(Mark Balmores / MANILA BULLETIN)

“On behalf of Secretary Jesus Dureza, I am pleased to announce today the peace corridor has been set up by a composite team of the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), PNP (Philippine National Police), and MILF who are as we speak travelling from Malabang to Marawi to set up the Joint Coordinating, Monitoring, and Assistance Center (JCMAC),” Irene Santiago, chair of the government peace panel, said.

Speaking at a Palace press briefing, Santiago said two centers will be established – one in Marawi and the other in Malabang; while a mobile center will also be deployed to ply the corridor.

“More than 300 trained members of the joint peace and security teams are being deployed throughout the length of the corridor and will be augmented as the need arises,” she said.
“The government and the MILF peace panels are supervising the peace corridor,” she added.

President Duterte earlier approved the creation of the peace corridor following a meeting with the MILF leaders in Davao City about extending humanitarian aid to families affected by the Marawi conflict. Both sides have agreed to use the ceasefire mechanisms for establishment of the peace corridor.

Santiago said the peace corridor was a testament to the Bangsamoro peace processes and the partnership between the government and the MILF.

She said Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso, a retired colonel of the Philippine Army, would lead the government team involved in the humanitarian assistance center.

The center will also cooperate with the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on the delivery of relief aid in the affected areas.

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