Zambo officials doubt MILF offer of peace PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 11 February 2018 17:40

By ALLEN ABASTILLAS

Zamboanga City officials expressed doubt on the offer of peace made by Bangsamoro Transition Commission Chairman Ghadzali Jaafar during the public hearing for the proposed law on the Bangsamoro held last Friday in Zamboanga City.

“We came to you with an offer of peace. Peace, Just peace and dignified,” said Jaafar during the public forum, adding “Ang gusto namin may dignidad at katarungan.  Hindi lang para sa Muslims kundi para sa lahat ng region ng Bangsamoro, inaalok po namin sa inyo Congressman Celso Lobregat, Congressman Dalipe, Mayor Climaco.”

Zamboanga officials, however, received the offer with doubts, while reiterating the decision of a group of Zamboanga residents not to be included in the Bangsamoro territory.

The officials’ statements were also directed towards Senator Miguel Zubiri, Chairman of the Senate sub committee on the Bangsamoro who earlier said:  “Hindi po kasama ang Zamboanga sa Bangsamoro.”

“If you read, study and analyze, there are many provisions that open the door for Zamboanga’s inclusion,” First District Congressman Celso Lobregat countered.

Lobregat cited the definition of territory which does not only cover landmass.

“Is Zamboanga contiguous or not?” asked the Zamboanga solon.

He also said that Zamboanga, being one of the cities included in the Tripoli Agreement, may be included.

Lobregat also said that the Bangsamoro draft does not include provisions on the disposition of ARMM and SPDA properties in Zamboanga.

“We may be out but the Bangsamoro is in because of the Cabatangan properties, SPDA properties..” Lobregat said.

For his part, Second District Representative Mannix Dalipe cited the issue of trust in entering into the agreement.

“When you try to watch each other’s steps without trust, it is unproductive,”  Dalipe pointed out.

Zamboanga Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco- Salazar meanwhile reiterated previous statements on the city’s decision not to be included in the Bangsamoro based on results of previous plebiscites.

“The city should not be part, nor any part be included in the Bangsamoro, now or ever,” said Climaco.

Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde said that it is imperative for the government to take full ownership of the ARMM and SPDA properties before the passage of the Bangsamoro law.  (Allen Abastillas)