MILF condemns terror attack in Marawi

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2017 08:51 PM

MANILA - The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) denounced the violence perpetrated by terror groups in Marawi City.

"The MILF strongly condemns the violence in Marawi perpetrated by group or groups whose only aim is to sow terror. There is no justification for launching an offensive against civilian populace and to destroy infrastructures and institutions serving the public," the group said in a statement released Wednesday.

MILF, likewise, asked the government to ensure that existing ceasefire mechanisms continue to be implemented, and that military operations against the Maute group do not spillover to other areas.

"The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), while not in a position to question the factual basis for the proclamation or the decision to make it, appeals to the Philippine Government to ensure that the ceasefire mechanisms continue to work on the ground, and that any military operations against the Group that perpetrated the violence in Marawi does not spark more fighting in other areas," the group said.

"Mobilizing the military in Mindanao should still respect the mechanisms that have proven to be effective in scaling down armed encounters between government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF). Conversely, recent events have shown that disregard of these mechanisms have been disastrous to our communities and to the effort to bring to fruition the end of the decades-long conflict in our homeland," it added.

The MILF expressed its commitment to achieve peace in the region and to settle the grievances of the Bangsamoro people through the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

"Now more than ever, the MILF and the government must work closely to ensure the protection of the gains of the peace process and to even forge with greater resolve to immediately implement the peace agreement so that no other groups may use its non-implementation to justify their continued pursuit of violence for violence’s sake," the group said.

The group also called on its forces to extend help to the people of Marawi to ensure their safety.

"We call on our forces to extend all necessary assistance to the people of Marawi to ensure their safety and frustrate the aim of any group or groups to sow divide in our communities. Let us all stand united to win peace for our people," MILF said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy also condemned the violent attacks by lawless elements in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur, calling such as acts contrary to the teachings of Islam.

"The Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy strongly condemns the violent attacks perpetrated by lawless elements in the Islamic city of Marawi and Lanao del Sur, made more heinous as it occurred as the Muslim faithful are preparing for the holy month of Ramadhan. Any act inciting to terror in the hearts of defenseless civilians, the destruction of places of worship and properties, the murder of innocent men, women, and children irrespective of one’s faith are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam," PCID president Amina Rasul said in a statement.

PCID urged the government to ensure the safety of residents following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.

"We urge the Philippine Government to ensure that the declaration of Martial Law will not, in any way, compromise the lives of our people and the principles of democracy that we hold dear. PCID believes that the peaceful resolution of the armed conflict Marawi is needed, through tempered and calibrated responses that will prevent further casualties and damage to property and livelihoods," Rasul added.

PCID also asked the media to avoid framing the incident as a conflict between Muslims and Christians.

"We ask fellow Filipinos to stay informed based on facts, especially with the prevalence of unverified information and unsupported theories regarding the crisis. We also ask the media to take extra precautions in their reporting, and to prevent framing the crisis as a binary conflict between Muslims and Christians. We should focus on uniting and working together for just peace and human rights, instead of holding unfair and preemptory judgments that can only lead to a perilous cycle of fear, ignorance, and worse, more violence," Rasul said.

Clashes between the military and local terrorist groups erupted in Marawi City this week, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law in all of Mindanao.