Duterte approves ‘peace corridor’ to hasten relief ops in Marawi City

May. 31, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana aboard the BRP Davao Del Sur on the 119th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy held at the Sasa Wharf in Davao City on Wednesday, May 31. (Paulo C. Rizal/davaotoday.com)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The relief operations and humanitarian operations in the besieged Marawi City are expected to accelerate after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved to set-up a “peace corridor,” an official said on Wednesday.

“President Duterte approved the idea of creating a ‘peace corridor’ to ensure the safety of the civilians and the delivery of the needed humanitarian aid for the displaced persons in the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City,” said Irene M. Santiago, chairperson of the Government’s Implementing Panel.

Santiago said the so-called “peace corridor” was agreed following the meeting with the President and the members of the Joint Implementing Panels, and top officials of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front  on Monday, May 29.

“The peace corridor is a secure space where humanitarian groups may evacuate wounded and trapped civilians and retrieve dead bodies for burial,” she said.

The MILF vowed to cooperate with government in securing the areas where these peace corridors will be established, according to Santiago who was designated by Dutertee to oversee the humanitarian efforts.

“The corridor is also a safe space for goods to reach hungry people in the rural areas whose access to Marawi’s markets have been cut off,” she pointed out.

Santiago said members of the implementing panels will meet within the week to formalize the modalities and parameters of the peace corridor. 

She said the implementing panels would utilize existing peace mechanisms, particularly the Joint Coordinating Committees on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCHs), for the establishment of peace corridor.

“Both the government and the MILF implementing panels are strongly committed to work as partners in finding creative ways to address the root causes of violent conflict in Mindanao at the soonest possible time, starting with the passage of the Bangsamoro enabling law,” Santiago said. (davaotoday.com)

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