WATCH | Duterte, MILF agree to create ‘peace corridor’ out of Marawi for humanitarian assistance

May 31, 2017 - 2:46 PM
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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with the MILF's Mohagher Iqbal while MILF chairman Al Haj Murad looks on. (Malacanang photo)

MANILA, Philippines — The government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front have agreed to create and maintain a “peace corridor” running more than 70 kilometers from Marawi City to the coastal town of Malabang to give displaced civilians and humanitarian aid a safe route.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between Duterte and MILF leaders in Davao City on Monday, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

“President Duterte approved the creating of 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,” Abella said.

Abella quoted Irene Santiago, chair of the government’s implementing panel, that her panel and that of the MILF would meet this week to discuss the mechanics of setting up the peace corridor.

Aside from giving civilians and humanitarian aid a safe route, the “Joint GPH-MILF Peace Corridor” will also be used to retrieve the bodies of those who have died in the more than weeklong violence so they can be given proper burials.

During the meeting, Duterte also underscored the need to finish the draft of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law so this can be submitted to Congress in June.

The measure is supposed to create a new Moro homeland as part of a peace agreement with the MILF.