On Saturday, the Commission on Human Rights called on President Duterte’s administration to stop airstrikes in Marawi City. Although airstrikes help the government troops in capturing the terrorists, it is also destroying the place especially the infrastructure. Furthermore, it killed accidentally 11 soldiers when SF-260 turbo-prop aircraft was used to bomb Maute group.
“The airstrikes have not only caused the destruction of buildings and civilian property, but, worse, have resulted in the killing of innocent civilians, including children, and even our own troops,” the CHR said in a statement.
“The airstrikes are a major factor in the internal displacement of civilians within the area and local residents are reporting that members of the criminal Maute band are now engaged in the ransacking of their abandoned homes,” it added.
The CHR also requested the Department of Social Welfare and Development to ensure that civilians have adequate food, potable water, sanitation facilities, waste management in the evacuation areas, and provision of special protection to children, pregnant women, elderly, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.
“At the same time, we commend the efforts of the peace panels of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front for brokering a humanitarian ceasefire that allowed for the safe passage and rescue of some 130 civilians, as well as the pool of volunteers who were part of this charitable initiative. The commission believes that, in times of conflict and violence, the State must always ensure to limit the effects of armed conflict, especially for the vulnerable and marginalized sectors,” CHR continued.
The fighting has killed 58 soldiers and police, 21 civilians and 138 terrorists as of Saturday while more than 200,00 residents have fled the city since clashes started.