MILF ready to help with Marawi crisis, Moro leaders tell Duterte

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:
  • President Rodrigo Duterte met with leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Monday, to discuss how the rebel group can aid government forces with the Marawi crisis.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — Moro leaders told President Rodrigo Duterte they are willing to help the government with the crisis in Marawi.

Representatives of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met with Duterte in Davao City on Monday.

The MILF in a statement on Tuesday said its chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim "welcomed the idea of PRRD for the MILF forces to help in extending necessary humanitarian assistance to civilians [who] are still trapped in areas of Marawi."

"Modalities of cooperation would be established between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and MILF," the Moro group added.

Malacañang said Duterte has approved the creation of a "peace corridor," for the MILF to hasten rescue and humanitarian operations for civilians trapped in Marawi.

Duterte, for his part, assured the MILF that the declaration of martial law in Mindanao was not meant to go after the moro groups MILF, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), or the communist New People's Army (NPA) - but to quell terror threats.

Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, following clashes between government troops and the Maute terror group in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur. As of Tuesday, 89 Maute members, 21 government troops, and 19 civilians were killed in Marawi, the military said.

The Maute is a local armed group led by the Maute family, who are believed to be former members of the MILF.

Duterte's meeting with the MILF leaders comes two days after he invited rebel groups to join the military in fighting the terrorists. He said MNLF founder Nur Misuari offered to recruit rebels to help solve the terror crisis in Marawi.

Also read: Military, police open to additional help from moro rebels to fight terrorism

During the meeting, Duterte also urged the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to fast-track the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

The BTC, which now includes members of the MILF and MNLF, is expected to be submitted to Congress before Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address on July 24.

The law would implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, a landmark peace deal signed by the government and rebels in March 2014, which seeks to put an end to the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.

Government, MILF set up 'peace corridor' for Marawi aid