DAVAO CITY, Philippines –With the expressed support of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to fight against terrorism in Marawi, the Eastern Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced that they welcome any form of assistance.
“We welcome any form of support or assistance especially in fighting against terrorism,” Eastern Mindanao Command Chief, Lt. Gen. Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in a press conference at the SM City Davao, May 29.
The MNLF has expressed full support on Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao last Tuesday.
During his speech in Jolo, Sulu on Saturday, May 27, Pres. Duterte read the letter sent to him by MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari saying that the armed forces are allowed to “invite” MNLF volunteers.
Duterte accepted Misuari’s offer and called on MNLF members to help the government fight against the Maute group and other terrorists in the Marawi siege. He offered privileges such as pay and housing benefits in return, to those who will be joining.
“In the past, there had been instances where the AFP had conducted operations with the MILF. There are mechanisms to ensure joint operations are following strict procedures as far as rules of engagement is concerned,” Guerrero said.
“As to how they will be employed in the area of Marawi City, I would not venture into making any guidelines or try to formulate some sort of concept on how this will be implemented since it is under Western Mindanao Command,” he said.
Earlier, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief General Eduardo Año said that although there are enough forces in Marawi City, the government still need additional reinforcement to fast-track clearing operations. (davaotoday.com)