by Camcer Ordonez Imam and Nonoy Lacson
Iligan City — The National Ulama Conference of the Philippines has appealed to President Duterte to immediately stop the airstrikes in Marawi City and to go on with the land attacks instead.
Various groups have condemned the attack by the Maute group on Marawi City, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which called on its 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 division in the communities.
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Central Committee accused the Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) of violating the “teachings of Islam” after it attacked Marawi City, since May 23, and occupied the city, disregarding the lives and properties of the innocent civilians, dignity and their honor.
MNLF Central Committee Chair Yusop Jikiri said “what has happened to Marawi City and still happening up to this time is indeed deplorable.”
The MNLF central committee believes that the Marawi City attack was perpetrated by the Maute Group and some Abu Sayyaf Group members
There is a rising tide of criminality and lawlessness that could no longer be addressed by normal law enforcement, the continuing threat by the ASG and the ISIS-inspired militant groups that pay no respect to human decency and the rule of law, hence a rule like martial law must be observed in areas of concern, Jikiri noted.
“We, from the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP), implore President Duterte to cease immediately the airstrikes but to employ land attack with the help of local military and police so that innocent civilians will be protected and escorted to evacuation centers.”
The NUCP also appealed to President Duterte to order line agencies, like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health (DOH) to respond to the humanitarian needs of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) or locally called “bakwit”.
“This is the time, Mr. President, to show us what you’ve been saying that you have a Maranao blood, and that you are sincere to correct the historical injustices committed against the Moros.
The MILF, for its part, appealed to the government to ensure that ceasefire mechanisms continue to work on the ground and that the military operations against the Maute group do not spark more fighting in other areas.
“Such proclamation, presumably made within the legal processes of the Government of the Philippines, is apparently designed to contain the Marawi incident and to prevent it from spreading to other parts of Mindanao. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, 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 operation against the Group that perpetrated the violence in Marawi does not spark more fighting in other areas,” the MILF said.
“The Moro Islamic Liberation Front stands in solidarity with the people of Marawi and Lanao del Sur during this tragic day. 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 (division) in our communities. Let us all stand united to win peace for our people,” the MILF statement said.
Jikiri said national discipline must be established and martial law is the right measure to accomplish it.
The MNLF is confident that martial law will help push things into their proper places. But most importantly martial law is needed to effectively address the national security threat at a time when the law and all it stands for is abused by all those taking the law into their own hands.
The Marawi Crisis Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy also strongly condemned the violent attacks perpetrated by lawless elements in the Islamic city of Marawi and Lanao del Sur.
The Regional Darul Ifta of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the most authoritative religious group in the region, also condemned the violent attack against the Islamic city of Marawi and its peace loving people.
Tags: airstrikes, Marawi city, Maute Group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Moro National Liberation Front, National Ulama Conference of the Philippines, President Duterte, Ulamas appeal to Duterte: Stop airstrikes