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Military denies blocking relief mission for Marawi

By: Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

The Armed Forces clarified yesterday that they did not block a relief mission for evacuees in Marawi, saying they just do not allow the entry of civilians into the war-torn city.

A relief mission led by former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño has said the military blocked them as they were about to deliver relief goods to evacuees in Marawi.

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla, during the Mindanao Hour press briefing yesterday, said that it was not the intention of the military to block the delivery of relief goods and said that they just do not allow the entry of civilians to ensure their safety.

“Let us not put or point fingers at our troops for blocking them. We did not block them,” Padilla said.

According to Padilla, Casiño’s group may not have coordinated with the city government, or if they did, the city government did not coordinate with the military.

“The roadblock that they’re saying is the checkpoint that is in between Iligan and Marawi and we have not been allowing anyone else other than local government and other officials to come in to Marawi because of the conflict that is ongoing,” Padilla explained.

“But the local government did not coordinate with the military and the military would not have recommended it to push through. They would have been advised just to give it to those providing relief in Iligan and will be transported to Marawi itself,” he added.

Padilla said they have requested those who have been giving and those who want to give relief goods to channel the items through the city government.

“We have also requested all those who have been giving relief goods to channel the relief goods through the local government who can then distribute it in the evacuation centers, without them going into the danger zone,” he said.

Padilla also said that they are trying to avoid any collateral damage or any incident, citing the Australian journalist who was grazed by a stray bullet in the neck last Thursday.

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