Beng mulls holding of Summit on gun ban PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 August 2013 16:00

Mayor Beng Climaco considers the idea of hosting a summit for military, police, local chief executives and other officials from Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-tawi (ZAMBASULTA) and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) area to discuss prevailing issues specifically on gun ban and other security matters.

Mayor Climaco broached the idea during an inter-agency meeting of top-level security planners and policy-makers at the Western Mindanao Command yesterday morning where she sought technical support from the offices of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, National Defense Secretary Volaire Gazmin and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, who were present during the gathering.

The gun ban, kidnap for ransom groups, gun for hire groups and other security issues are among the top agenda of the proposed summit.

The gathering is intended for top military and police officials, local chief executives and other political leaders from the Zambasulta and ARMM regions and issues like the number of security escorts and firearms allowed for out of town officials visiting Zamboanga City will be among the specific topics to be tackled

“We are seeking the help of Secretaries Ochoa and Gazmin to provide us with technical support for the holding of the summit,” Mayor Climaco asked, as she expressed observations that “sometimes incidents of lawlessness happen because of gun-wielding security escorts and bodyguards.”

The attendance of Secretaries Ochoa, Gazmin and Gen. Bautista in the inter-agency consultation is manifestation of the government’s genuine concern to the recent spate of violence in some parts of Mindanao and threats posed by local and foreign terrorists and extremist groups.

The mayor also expounded on the issue of the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P), the Zamboanga visit of MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari last month, security threats and other issues.

“What we in the city is recommending is that there should be a synergy and convergence of the air, water and land assets, to fuse together all of these so we can come up with a manual and protocol of security that even if the city government officials, political leaders, military and police officials leave their posts, this protocol will remain,” she stressed.

Wesmincom Chief LGen. Rey Ardo recommended measures to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts to include among others the creation of Mindanao-wide Intel Task Force and the strengthening of the role of LGUs through the peace and order councils at different levels. — Sheila Covarrubias