On City’s stand on peace process: Please don’t get us wrong- Beng PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 February 2014 13:21

Mayor Beng Climaco declared anew that the City Government of Zamboanga fully supports President Aquino’s peace plans but stressed that the city desires for an inclusive participation not only of the MILF but also the MNLF and all other groups in the process of dialogue and communication.

Zamboangueños, the mayor said, have voted twice not to be included in the ARMM and were petitioners in the Supreme Court against MOA-AD. “We are very supportive of the government’s plans for the peace process and we do not want them to commit the same mistakes.”

“That is why please do not get us wrong if ever we are concerned because we want that inclusive participation of all other sectors in a dialogue, so that in the end when documents are fully approved by Congress no one will feel that they have been left behind and no lives will be lost again,” Mayor Climaco emphasized.

She stressed that the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) should take a greater role to include the MNLF, MILF and all other groups in the process of dialogue and communication.

“We want to make it clear that the City Government of Zamboanga supports President Aquino’s peace plans, however based on the city’s history and the lessons learned, the OPAPP should take a greater role,” the mayor said.

Now that the fifth annex on normalization of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro has been signed, the chief executive said “there is hope for understanding that the MNLF and other groups should be included in the process of dialogue and communication”.

“What office has the mandate to do it? It should be the OPAPP so that we in Zamboanga will not again be used as the staging ground by other forces just because they were not fully consulted and included in the dialogue,” she said.

The mayor lamented that Zamboanga residents have learned their lessons the hard way and that Zamboanguenos have paid a very dear and big price. “The cost is great and we appeal to all parties to support the program of peace initiatives of President Aquino”. — Sheila Covarrubias