Home » News » News Roundup » New Roundup » Regional » MILF urges Maute group to free captive priest

MILF urges Maute group to free captive priest

DAVAO CITY – The leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) made an appeal to the Maute Group to free Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganon who has been in the terrorists’ custody since the Marawi siege started two weeks ago.

The appeal was made on the day the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has completed the draft of the new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), an enabling law of the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro or CAB.

No less than MILF first vice chair Ghazali Jaafar made the plea and called on the terrorists to free not only the priests but also other non-combatant captives – youth, women, and seniors – who are supposedly spared from atrocities.

“I just would like to take this opportunity to appeal again sa kung sino ang humahawak kay Fr. Chito, hiniling po naming sa kanila sa ngalan ng kapayapaan na i-release na siya, bitiwan na siya, pakawalan na siya. Siya po ay pari, siya po ay religious leader and a person of hope,” said Jaafar.

Jaafar said the followers of Islam faith revere priests and even leaders of other religious groups.

Suganon and others were in the Cathedral of St. Mary’s last May 23 when members of the Maute Group forced their way into the Cathedral, taking with them the priest and other hostages.

Jaafar adds the MILF members continue to give assistance in the field of humanitarian assistance to the residents who are displaced in Marawi.

During the “Iftar for Peace” on Saturday at the Park Inn by Radisson Davao, Jaafar said the BTC members will meet again for the last preliminary session before the submission of the draft BBL to the President.

Duterte agreed the creation of a “peace corridor” will expedite the resource and humanitarian operations for affected civilians who are trapped in Marawi City.

In a press release issued by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process (OPAPP) Wednesday, the creation of a peace corridor came about after Monday’s meeting with government.

(GPH) peace implementing panel, headed by Irene Santiago, and their counterparts from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – chair Murad Ibrahim and implementing panel chair Mohagher Iqbal.

“The corridor is also a safe space for goods to reach hungry people in the rural areas whose access to Marawi’s markets have been cut off,” she added.

Meantime, Malacañang yesterday reported that the four-hour Humanitarian Pause of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) rendered the rescue of 179 civilians in Marawi City.

During the Mindanao Hour press briefing in Malacañang Monday morning, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the 179 civilians were rescued during the Pause from 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday.

Abella also added that 95 other civilians were also rescued by the military at around 6 a.m. on Sunday at the Dansalan area.

However, AFP Spokesperson Restituto Padilla said that the despite the efforts of third party facilitators, there were violations committed by the criminals in the area.

“They caused the wounding of two of our men who were escorting the humanitarians into the area and earlier, the day prior, or earlier on, there were, there was a civilian who was hit by a sniper fire,” Padilla said.

However, Padilla assured that the military will continue to work closely with other groups for the facilitation of the entry of humanitarian help and assistance to areas where there are displaced persons and evacuees.
(With a report from Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos) (ANTONIO L. COLINA IV)

comments