Pres Duterte approves setting-up of peace corridor to hasten rescue and humanitarian operations for civilians in Marawi

President Rodrigo Duterte approved the setting up of a “peace corridor” spearheaded by the implementing panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to hasten the rescue and humanitarian operations for civilians still trapped in the conflict zone in Marawi City, an OPAPP Press Release said today.

“The idea of creating a ‘peace corridor’ is 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,” Irene M. Santiago, chairperson of the Government’s Peace Implementing Panel said.

Santiago, designated by President Duterte as overseer of the humanitarian efforts said the "peace corridor” was agreed following the meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte, members of the Joint Peace Implementing Panels, and top officials of the MILF on May 29 in Davao City.

In the said meeting, the MILF vowed to cooperate with government in securing the areas where these peace corridors will be established.

Santiago 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.

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

“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 added.

“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.

President Duterte noted the ongoing efforts to sustain the peace process between the government and the MILF.