Beng appeals anew to OPAPP: Spare Zambo from MNLF talks PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 September 2017 14:18

Mayor Beng Climaco has once again appealed very strongly to the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to spare Zamboanga City from making it as venue for dialogues, conferences or peace talks with any armed groups, let alone the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

“Our memory of the MNLF attack on our city in 2013 is still fresh. The people are still traumatized, and the residents of Zamboanga are still suffering from the effects of the siege four years ago although we have already built back better,” Climaco declared during her weekly guesting on TV11’s “Dateline Teleradyo” Wednesday morning.

This developed after the mayor was informed unofficially though that the OPAPP will conduct a dialogue with MNLF members in Zamboanga City anytime this month.

“We would like to direct our appeal to and inform the OPAPP and all other agencies to refrain, do not conduct any activities whether it is a peace process particularly with the MNLF and other groups that are related and pertaining to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM),” she said.

She added Mindanao is very big with many places to choose from as venue for MNLF talks. “They can go to Basilan, Sulu or Tawi-Tawi. Why insist on Zamboanga City?” she asked.

“I strongly direct them to take the boat or plane and go to these areas because that is where they are needed the most. Allavosotros man peace dialogue, allavosotros man consultavion cay aquinaZamboanga the people are still suffering from the 2013 siege,” she stressed.

The chief executive cited an incident sometime July or August wherein the house in Talon-Taon, at which a group ofMNLF members had spent overnight, was stoned bypeople in the neighborhood.

The MNLF members came from outlying provinces and were en route to Lanao for a gathering.

“We cannot allow that to happen again but we cannot also blame the people for their action because their memory of the 2013 siege perpetrated by the MNLF is still fresh,” she said.

In explaining her stand, Climaco emphasized: “It is not that we are arrogant. It is not that we are not hospitable. El problemaamo, el de tuyumagaanak ta sufri pa, hende pa sila ready. Nuncaolvida el nana cay yaperde el anak. Not this time.Not now, yet.”

According to Climaco, Zamboanga City is still seeking justice for what the MNLF had done “to us in 2013 and we cannot just move on and forget what happened four years ago. Allowing the MNLFs to come freely at their own will is tantamount to abandoning to call for justice.”-(Vic Larato/PR)