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AFP declares ‘humanitarian pause’ in Marawi City

AFP declares ‘humanitarian pause’ in Marawi City

Soldiers escort rescued civilians in a village on the outskirts of Marawi yesterday. Families trapped in the clashes have been asked to prepare flags made of white cloth to signal government troops for rescue. AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday confirmed that it has declared a “humanitarian” ceasefire in Marawi City for relief and rescue efforts.


“Ngayon lang po, nabatid naming sa mga ground commanders diyan na inaprubahan po ng ating chief of staff, si General Eduardo Año, ang pagkakaroon ng tinatawag na humanitarian pause para magbigay-daan sa pagbibigay para sa pagbibigay ng tulong at pag-recover sa sinumang nasugatan at anumang labing andiyan, at doon sa mga taong nagtatawag ng tulong sa may lugar po ng bakbakan ngayon,” Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, AFP spokesperson, said in an interview with dzMM.


Padilla said the humanitarian pause will be led by the chairperson of the implementing panel of government’s peace accord with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Irene Santiago. He added that various humanitarian organizations will also help with civilians’ needs.


The pause in military operations will only be on Sunday morning.


“May request na po para sa mas matagalang aabutin ng ilang araw, pero hindi po natin maaaring payagan iyan dahil may iina-address pa po tayong mga threat diyan sa loob," he added.


Days ahead of Ramadan, the ISIS-linked Maute group launched attacks in Marawi City. 


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Padilla hopes that the ceasefire will allow relief teams to reach civilians who need help and give them assistance as well as bring them to safer areas. He appealed on the citizens to give way to humanitarian efforts and to follow AFP guidelines.


“Panawagan po namin sa mga nakakamonitor ngayon lalo na sa lugar ng Marawi na magbibigay daan para sa humanitarian pause,” Padilla said.


 “Sundin ninyo lang po iyan nang sa gayon maging maayos po ang maging palakad nitong tinatawag nating prosesong ito mas sigurado po na magiging safe kayo pag ‘yang mga prosesong iyan at mga lugar na tinuro namin ang inyong pagtutuunan ng pansin o patutunguhan para po maiwasan natin ang pangyayari na hindi maganda,” he advised.


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