Beng seeks GPH’s assurance to allay fears on ‘sub-state’ PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 14:26

House Deputy Speaker Beng Climaco yesterday appealed to the government peace panel to give Zamboangueños the assurance that fears about the proposed Bangsamoro ‘sub-state’ by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not be a reality.

Climaco made the appeal as the MILF has announced its rejection of the  government proposal presented in Malaysia last August 22 stressing that the Bangsamoro  sub-state is ‘within’ but ‘independent’ of the republic.

The lady solon took the opportunity of making the appeal personally to Government Peace Panel chair Prof. Marvic Leonen during a special meeting of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee in the House of Representatives where issues about the peace process were discussed.  Presidential Assistant on Peace Process Ding Deles also attended the meeting.

Climaco said the stories about the MILF’s rejection of the government proposal causes apprehensions among the people in Zamboanga and other parts of Mindanao. This is the reason why, she said, the peace panel should calm down the people and make an assurance that the issue of a sub-state will not be included in the peace negotiations.

Zamboanga City, she said is for peace but “we don’t want to be included in the ARMM or Bangsamoro sub-state or any entity in whatever form or name”. The negotiations should be within the framework of the 1987 constitution and not cause dismemberment of the Republic, she emphasized.

During the meeting, Prof. Leonen confirmed his visit to Zamboanga City sometime this month to consult with the people concerning the renewed peace negotiations.
Climaco said she is closely coordinating with Mayor Celso Lobregat with regards to issues concerning the peace talks. The people of Zamboanga, she said should come up with a unanimous stand to reiterate its sentiments of non-inclusion in the ARMM or Bangsamoro sub-state or any entity in whatever form or name, according to Climaco.

The lady solon is grateful that the government peace panel is giving appropriate attention to the people’s call for the panel to go back to Zamboanga for a dialogue with a wider or greater participation. However, it has to be made clear that it is up to the discretion of the peace panel on which sector or group they want to dialogue or consult with.

On the other hand, on calls by some sectors to seek redress in Court concerning the issue, Climaco said she does not see the need at present but stressed that she and the other officials of the city are constantly monitoring the situation.

Nevertheless, she said she is personally vouching the capability of Prof. Leonen and his members in the government peace panel to negotiate with the MILF based on President Aquino’s marching orders to “to negotiate only what we (the government) can give”. — Marvin Segura