Palace: 8-hour ‘humanitarian pause’ in Marawi ‘generally peaceful’
Malacañang on Monday said the eight-hour ceasefire implemented in Marawi City was uneventful and resulted in the rescue of a few civilians.
“The Humanitarian Pause was generally peaceful and as a result 6 civilians and one body of a civilian victim (killed by the Maute group) were recovered from inside Marawi,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
He said among those rescued was a 79-year old resident.
Inquirer earlier reported that fighting between the military and the Islamic State-inspired Maute group immediately resumed once the ceasefire ended. There were also reports of terrorist snipers firing at government troops during the “humanitarian pause” although no one was hurt.
The body recovered was of an elderly man who supposedly suffered a stroke before he could be rescued, Assistant Secretary for the Peace Process Dickson Hermoso was quoted saying.
As of 7 p.m. of June 25, 290 terrorists, 70 government forces and 27 civilians have been killed in the clashes.
Meanwhile, 1,702 civilians have been rescued and 347 firearms were recovered from terrorists. Eighty-five buildings have already been cleared by the military.
“Out of 96 barangays, portions of 4 barangays remain as problematic areas,” Abella said.
He said the military will continue to focus on clearing Marawi City of the Maute terrorist group and rescuing trapped residents and hostages.
The military is also helping local government units and non-government organizations facilitate relief operations.
Abella pointed out that there has been an increase in “willful/intentional arson activities of the rebels in various areas of the city.”
However, he said enemy resistance is waning as military offensives continue.
“Troops continue to get deeper into once enemy-held positions as evidenced by the recovery of bodies of terrorists and their firearms; computers and peripherals; as well as communications equipment and accessories,” the spokesperson said.
Among the challenges faced by the military is the terrorist group’s use of snipers, RPGs and explosives from “remaining vantage positions,” as well as the use of human shields and taking cover inside mosques.
“The AFP remains committed to the decisive resolution of this rebellion to ensure that the Maute-Daesh/ISIS terrorist rebels will not be able to pose a threat in any part of the Philippines,” Abella said.
Abella said the military has already prepared its combat engineering brigades to help in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Marawi once the clearing operations end. JE/rga
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