Thursday, August 10, 2017

AFP general to Maute: Spare MSU

From GMA News (Aug 8): AFP general to Maute: Spare MSU

Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday called on terror group Maute to spare Mindanao State University in Marawi and the establishments near it as the institution gears up for the resumption of classes.

“I challenge the Maute, if you still have some goodness left in your heart, spare MSU from any harm,” Galvez said in a press statement.

“I dare the Daesh-inspired Maute Group to cease and desist from this and any other atrocious acts that tend to terrorize students and members of the faculty of MSU. That is the least they can do for the youth,” he added.

On Monday afternoon, Galvez and other military officials met with faculty members of MSU where they discussed the security arrangement and the schedule of classes.

Among those present were Brigadier General Ramiro Rey, commander of Joint Task Group Ranao; Dr. Habib Macaayong, MSU president; Dr. Berua, vice president for academic affairs; Dr. Paca, vice president for operation; and the other directors of the school.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Assemblyman Zia Alonto Adiong, a member of the school's Board Regents, was also present during the meeting.

During the two-hour meeting, the attendees agreed in crafting a security plan involving everyone who has a stake in the MSU.

It was also initially agreed that the school can go on accepting enrolees until such time classes open in two weeks or on a later date.

Galvez personally explained to the attendees the need for MSU to resume classes:

“The Mindanao State University is the symbol and life of Marawi City. This is the bastion of knowledge and we will have to open classes the soonest,” he said.

“Continuing talks and assessments will be held to weigh things and ascertain the date of opening. We might have to delay it, but we will definitely have to open the MSU for our students and for our people,” he added.

According to the military statement, the MSU president and staff lauded the soldiers for listening [to their concerns] and for giving the school a chance to start classes despite the difficult circumstances.

Macaayong vowed that the school administration will actively take part in securing the inner layer of the campus utilizing hired security personnel.

The fighting between government security forces and the ISIS-Maute group has been going on for more than two months now.

A total of 528 Maute members, 122 government troops and 45 civilians have been killed in the conflict as of August 6. The whole of Mindanao remains under martial rule.

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