Sign in / Join
1406

Duterte discusses Marawi crisis with MILF leaders

DAVAO MEETINGS. President Duterte, flanked by SAP Bong Go and AFP chief Eduaro Año, gets the latest updates on Marawi on Monday, May 29. Presidential photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) leaders met on Monday, May 29, to discuss the Marawi clashes and long-term plans to ensure peace in Mindanao.

During the roughly two-hour meeting, MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim welcomed Duterte’s proposal for MILF forces to help bring humanitarian assistance to civilians still trapped in Marawi due to fighting.

"Modalities of cooperation would be established between the government of the Philippines and MILF," Murad said in a statement on Tuesday, May 30.

Existing mechanisms between government and the Muslim separatist group will be used for coordination, including the Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities.

Duterte also used the meeting as an opportunity to assure Ebrahim that martial law will not be used against MILF, rival group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), or the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Duterte had earlier announced that he accepted Nur Misuari’s offer to provide MNLF fighters to help the government’s fight against local criminal and terror groups in Marawi City.

Among those who attended the meeting was Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Eduardo Año, also implementor of martial law. That day, Año gave Duterte a briefing on the latest updates from Marawi.

MILF panel chairperson Mohagher Iqbal and government panel chairperson Irene Santiago were also present.

Aside from the Marawi clashes, Duterte and MILF officials discussed the status of the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law being prepared by the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

The commission’s chairperson, MILF First Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar "expressed confidence" that the draft BBL would be completed by June. – Rappler.com