Beng keeps tight watch on renewed peace talks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 August 2011 14:22

House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Beng Climaco has assured the residents of Zamboanga that she is closely watching and observing updates in the fresh peace negotiation between the government and the secessionist group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Rep. Climaco Tuesday night convened congressmen from Mindanao  or the so-called Mindanao bloc in a meeting to discuss primarily about the peace talks and other issues and concerns affecting the island. Present during the meeting  were Prof. Marvic Leonen, chairman of the Government Panel Negotiating Peace (GPNP) with the MILF;  Secretary Ding Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; Secretary Lu Antonino, Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MINDA) chair; Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and over 60 congressmen from Mindanao.

The lady solon said she will be keeping a tight watch on the process to ensure that the Zamboangueños’ call for non-inclusion in the autonomous region or Bangsamoro sub-state or entity will be heeded and respected.

During the meeting, Prof. Leonen as well as Sec. Deles emphasized that President Noynoy Aquino’s marching orders for the GPNP is to negotiate within the bounds of the Constitution. They likewise assured that the House of Congress and all other stakeholders will be constantly updated on the peace process which is expected to resume on August 22 in Malaysia, according to Climaco.

Basically, Climaco said, what Prof. Leonen guaranteed is that whatever will be the decision between the two groups—the GPNP and the MILF—will necessitate an act of Congress.

But despite the assurances from the government, Rep. Climaco said, people should continue to be vigilant and beware of the developments in the negotiations.
She said the government panel should consider various issues in negotiating with MILF—negotiate only within the Constitutional framework, respect the territorial integrity of all cities, municipalities and barangays of the country, and recognize the results of the two plebiscites held in Zamboanga where the residents voted for the non-inclusion of the city in the ARMM.

What is necessary for now, Climaco added, is that the negotiations should be allowed to go on so that further solution to the conflict in Mindanao would come about. “But definitely before any approval (on the positions) would be made, it would pass through Congress and the voice of the people of Zamboanga will be heard”. — Marvin Segura