As peace talks resume, mayor appeals for prayers PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 17:25

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday called on residents of the city to pray and seek Divine intervention for a genuine, long and lasting peace in Mindanao, as the government resumes peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Malaysia.

“I appeal to you to please pray with me because today the government peace panel is resuming talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)”, the mayor said in his message during the regular Monday flag raising ceremony for city government employees in front of City Hall. 

The government peace panel led by Prof. Marvic Leonen was set to start fresh negotiations with the MILF in Malaysia starting Monday, Aug. 22 in an attempt to end the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.

Mayor Lobregat stressed: “At this point in time we should pray that the Lord will always protect and guide the City of Zamboanga. May the Holy Spirit give wisdom to our peace panel to negotiate with the MILF within the realm of the Constitution, that there will be no dismemberment and that the sentiments of the people of
Zamboanga on its firm stand on non-inclusion in the Bangsamoro Sub-state or any entity shall be heard and respected”.

He said people should also ask for the intervention of Nuestra Señora La Virgen del Pilar to always protect and guide each and every Zamboangueño.
“That is our prayer not only today but everyday especially in this Holy month of Ramadan,” the mayor said.

The chief executive said Zamboanga City is for peace, a genuine and long lasting peace. Peace, he said can only be achieved if the sentiments of the people of Mindanao and Zamboanga will be heard and respected.

Meanwhile, when asked about his expectations on the renewed peace talks, the mayor said he expects the government peace panel to deliver its commitment that the city’s sentiments will be considered, heard and respected in its counter proposal that was set to be submitted to the MILF yesterday.

“We were given assurances and so we expect no less”, the mayor told reporters covering City Hall. — Sheila Covarrubias