By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang reported that the four-hour Humanitarian Pause of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) succeeded in rescuing 179 civilians in Marawi City.
During the Mindanao Hour briefing in Malacañang Monday morning, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the 179 civilians were rescued during the Humanitarian Pause from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday.
Abella added that 95 other civilians were rescued by the military at 6 a.m. on Sunday at the Dansalan area.
However, AFP Spokesperson Restituto Padilla noted that the despite the efforts of third party facilitators, there were violations committed by criminals in the area.
“They caused the wounding of two of our men who were escorting the humanitarians into the area and earlier, the day prior, there was a civilian who was hit by sniper fire,” Padilla said.
“So these are proof and testament to the disregard for civilian lives by these criminal elements,” he lamented.
However, Padilla assured that the military will continue to work closely with other groups to facilitate the entry of humanitarian assistance to areas where there are displaced persons and evacuees.
He said that military operations on the ground will continue relentlessly as pointed out repeatedly in previous days.
“We are determined to end this problem as soon as possible and cause the return of Marawi back to its citizens within this period, especially Ramadan,” he said.
Based on the report by the AFP, 20 civilians have been killed by the terrorist groups, while 1,467 were rescued as of Sunday evening.
The number of enemies killed remains at 120 as the AFP is still waiting for consolidated reports from the ground.
The number of recovered firearms still stands at 98 while government casualties are still at 38.
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