Mayor to national execs: Spare Zambo from transit of MNLF Print
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 11:05

Mayor Beng Climaco has appealed to the national government, the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in particular, to spare Zamboanga City from the transit of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters wanting to assist in the fight against terrorism.

“We are really appealing to the national officials to please spare Zamboanga City from the transit of MNLF and other groups, given that the people here are still traumatized from the 2013 siege,” Climaco said during the press briefing Monday.

This developed after 11 MNLF members headed by a general of the Royal Republic of the Bangsamoro came over the city last week, barely few days after Pres. Duterte accepted MNLF leader Nur Misuari’s offer to assist the military in purging the Maute group in Marawi City.

Duterte’s acceptance of Misuari’s offer might have prompted the MNLF members in nearby provinces to leave their places and travel to the city in the pretext of helping government troops fight terrorist group.

“They (MNLF members) stayed overight in Talon-Talon, only to find out the people of Zamboanga are still traumatized by the siege. Ya gerya kanila piedra for la noche,” she said. “No kere kita sosede este maga incidente because it’s still our AOR (area of responsibility).”

According to the mayor, she had also asked Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Pres. Duterte, during their stopover visit to the city last week, about the recruitment of MNLF members into the AFP “because Zamboanga City is going to be a transit area of MNLFs from nearby provinces to Marawi.”

“If the MNLFs really would want to help the government, they will be recruited into the AFP as integrees. On the other hand, if they want to fight terrorists, let them fight (in areas) where they are,” Climaco quoted Duterte as saying.

She also said the President had instructed the local police under Supt. Diomari Albarico and Task Force Zamboanga commander Col. Leonel Nicolas to disarm MNLF members and other others if they come to Zamboanga.-(Vic Larato/PR)