Martial law should not affect ceasefire – MILF

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) appealed to the Duterte administration on Thursday to ensure that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao will not affect the bilateral ceasefire agreement between the government and the Moro front.

This was aired by the MILF as it strongly denounced the recent attack on Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, by the Maute Group, which is affiliated with the Islamic State (IS), that left dozens of casualties and destruction.

“The MILF strongly condemns the violence in Marawi perpetrated by a group or groups whose only aim is to sow terror. There is no justification for launching an offensive against the civilian populace and to destroy infrastructure and institutions serving the public,” the front said in a statement.

It added that while it is not in a position to question the factual basis of President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration
of martial law, the MILF “appeals to the Philippine government to ensure that the ceasefire mechanisms continue to work on the ground, and that any military operation against the group that perpetrated the violence in Marawi does not spark more fighting in other areas.”


“The Moro Islamic Liberation Front stands in solidarity with the people of Marawi and Lanao del Sur during this tragic day. We call on our forces to extend all necessary assistance to the people of Marawi to ensure their safety and frustrate the aim of any group or groups to sow division in our communities. Let us all stand united to win peace for our people.”

The Maute Group terrorists hoisted IS flags in several establishments and burned down the police headquarters, a jail, a Catholic Church and a school before taking more than a dozen hostages, including a priest.

They also executed at least nine civilians captured at their imposed checkpoints

Meanwhile, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Gov. Mujiv Hataman also condemned “these acts of terror” and said the government stands in solidarity with Marawi “in these dark times.”

“Any group who sows terror and then dares to say that they do it in the name of Islam should be ashamed. Any man, who claims to fight for a just cause, yet dares to incite violence a few days before the Holy Month of Ramadhan is a monster whose words belie his actions. The regional government stands in solidarity with the city of Marawi in these dark times. We have won many struggles together and we will stop at nothing to bring these terrorists to justice and win back the peace in your beloved city and in the Bangsamoro,” Hataman said.

This was not the first time the terror group had launched attacks on security forces in Marawi. There had been previous Maute offensives that military and police failed to prevent.

161 rounded up in Davao

The joint police and Task Force Davao have rounded up 161 persons who failed to show proofs of identification after the imposition of martial law on Tuesday night, but were freed later after profiling.

Senior Supt. Alexander Tagum, Davao City Police director, said village officials of Barangay 76-A and 23 where they were rounded up could not vouch for their identities.

It was learned that most of them were from Marawi City. They were released after profiling, while some were invited to the police office as they were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

On Wednesday, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said the city was on a “hold and secure” status and issued guidelines for Davaoenos to observe during the period of martial law. One of these is for Davaoenos to always bring proofs of identification.

The mayor has said that aside from the members of Maute Group detained at Maa Jail, there are other members under close watch by the authorities in the city.

WITH PNA

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