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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) political affairs chief Ghadzali Jaafar said the group’s forces have been helping evacuate civilians out Marawi city.

This statement was made earlier this month as government troops battled against Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

In a report by the Inquirer, the MILF spokesperson said that the humanitarian efforts of the MILF came after MILF Chief Al Haj Murad met with President Rodrigo Duterte on the evening of May 29 in Davao City.

According to Jaafar, their group has been helping Maranaos escape the violence in the city long before the meeting with the president took place.
“We escorted them out of their homes to nearby towns outside the city,” he said.

Jaafar also confirmed that sometime during the siege in Marawi City on May 23 – MILF militias open fired at the militants who were trying to blow up the bridge in the aforementioned city.

“With the President’s go-signal, our troops there have been instructed to help in bringing out of the city the remaining civilians,” Jaafar said.

However, despite the shared history between the MILF and the Maute group, there seems to be no love lost between the two groups.

The spokesperson said there was no executive order for MILF forces to fight alongside with government forces against the ISIS-aligned Maute terror group.
As of writing, the group’s focus has solely been the rescue civilians who remained trapped in the city. They were told to save these civilians regardless of whether they were MILF relatives or not.

Yesterday it was reported by GMA News, that rescue teams of both MILF and government volunteers would reenter the war zone. Both groups would take advantage of the military’s eight-hour ceasefire in order to recover the bodies of the slain.

Assistant Secretary Dickson Hermoso of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process had made this statement.
“Our mission is to retrieve warm bodies. Our volunteers from the MILF will go to the ground, knock on the doors at the houses there, use megaphones and use the local vernacular of Maranao to entice them (trapped civilians) and bring them to the safe zone.”

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced the eight-hour ceasefire last Sunday night to allow Marawi City residents to peacefully celebrate the end of the month-long Ramadan known as Eid’l Fitr.
The ceasefire which began at 6 AM will end at 2 PM.

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