Marcos urges gov’t: Send aid to 20,000 displaced by Lanao Sur clashes | Inquirer News
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Marcos urges gov’t: Send aid to 20,000 displaced by Lanao Sur clashes

/ 05:27 AM February 29, 2016

MANILA — Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has urged the national government to immediately aid families displaced by clashes between government forces and an armed group in Lanao del Sur, known to harbor extremist views.

He further asked the military to strictly abide by the mechanisms in the government’s peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to avoid clashes.

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In a statement, the vice presidential candidate expressed alarm over reports that fighting, particularly at Butig town in Lanao del Sur, has displaced 20,000 residents, including nearly 8,000 who were already in evacuation areas in the province.

“The national government should act fast to help the provincial government in ensuring all these evacuees are properly taken care of. If the clashes are prolonged, the Lanao del Sur government may find its resources inadequate to support a swelling number of evacuees,” Marcos said.

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The military, he added, must take the necessary measures to avoid civilian casualties in their offensive against local recruits of the Islamic State extremist group.

He further said that the commanders of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should strictly comply with mechanisms in the agreement with the MILF, which has men positioned near the site of the clashes.

“Both the military and MILF leadership should exercise the necessary restraint to avoid a misencounter as our troops conduct their legitimate operation against the terrorist elements,” Marcos pointed out.

He took note of the MILF’s assistance in helping civilians flee from the site of the skirmishes and the repositioning of its men to prevent them from getting entangled in the AFP operations.

Marcos said, “I am glad to note that the MILF leadership has affirmed their commitment in the pursuit of the peace process. We must not stop until we find peace in Muslim Mindanao.”  SFM

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TAGS: 2016 elections, 2016 presidential election, Acts of terror, armed groups, Barangay Sandab, Butig, Ceasefire, cessation of hostilities, clash, Election, Encounter, Evacuation, extremist groups, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., gun battle, ISIS, Islamic State, Lanao del Sur, law enforcement, lawless armed groups, manhunt for terrorists, MILF camps, Military, Military operations, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Nation, News, Peace agreement, peace negotiation, peace process, Politics, pursuit operation, Regions, senators, Terrorism, terrorist groups, vice presidential candidates, vice presidential election
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