8-hour ‘Humanitarian Pause’ now in effect in Marawi for Eid al-Fitr

MANILA, June 25 — In honor of the Eid al-Fitr holidays, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año has agreed to give an eight-hour “Humanitarian Pause” in the ongoing operations in Marawi City Sunday.

This started 6 a.m. and will end 2 p.m. today, June 25, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla said in a text message late Saturday,

“The Muslim world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr, an important religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. For Marawi City, Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated on Sunday, 25 June 2017,” he added.

“To give reverence to the supposed peaceful, joyous and festive spiritual celebration, the AFP upon the approval of the CSAFP (Chief-of-Staff, AFP) declares a stop in our current operations in the city on that day to serve as a gesture of our strong commitment and respect to the Muslim world particularly to the local Muslims of Marawi City,” Padilla stressed.

He said the “Humanitarian Pause” in offensive operations will only cover a halt in our employment of the military’s capabilities.

The AFP official said “Humanitarian Pause” will be lifted immediately if any of the following conditions ensue:

(1) our troops’ security is jeopardized;

(2) safety of civilians is threatened; and

(3) if the enemy starts firing and at which point anyone can exercise their right to self-defense. PRIAM NEPOMUCENO/PNA-northboundasia.com