Duterte: Disarm MNLFs when in Zambo Print
Monday, 05 June 2017 14:03

President Rodrigo Duterte has directed police and military authorities to disarm members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) should they enter Zamboanga City with firearms as only the police and military are authorized to carry guns.

Mayor Beng Climaco said the president issued the directive when she together with Task Force Zamboanga Chief Col. Leonel Nicolas and Zamboanga City Police Office OIC Director PSupt. Diomarie Albarico sought Duterte’s guidance on how to deal with MNLF forces in the wake of the latter’s offer to help the government in the fight against the Maute group.

The mayor with the two security officials had a brief audience with President Duterte who stopped over Zamboanga on his way to Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay to pay his last respects to a soldier who was killed in action in the ongoing Marawi conflict.

The president clarified during the brief meeting that he will only agree with the MNLF offer to help the government in the fight against the Maute group if and when they consent to give 2,000 of their members who will be under the jurisdiction and control of the Republic of the Philippines.

“We want to be guided on this matter because as far as we are concerned, we recognize only one PNP and one AFP as duly recognized to carry firearms. Others, not belonging to the police and military, will be apprehended if they carry firearms in the city,” the mayor said.

The issue about the 11 MNLF members purportedly led by an MNLF royal general dropped by Zamboanga City on way to Basilan for a gathering of the forces, was also brought up to the attention of the president.

Mayor Climaco, meanwhile during the brief audience, conveyed to the president her sympathies for the victims of the Marawi incident as well as the Resorts World attack. She likewise personally expressed her full support to the 60-day martial law that the president declared in Mindanao starting May 23.

At night time, the mayor also had the opportunity to sit down with National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Ano where she also brought up a host of issues related to peace and security.

Earlier, Mayor Climaco wrote Presidential Peace Adviser Dureza and DND Sec. Delfin Lorenzana seeking to spare ZC from the MNLF route to the provinces stressing that the wounds of the 2013 siege are still fresh and not totally healed. (Sheila Covarrubias/PR)