Military operation not an option to end Zamboanga stalemate: Deles-A A +A
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
THE Aquino administration will not resort to military operations to resolve the three-day stalemate in Zamboanga City, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said Wednesday.
Deles, in a press briefing in Malacanang, said that the presence of government troops in Zamboanga City was to ensure that the tensions there would not spillover to other areas and also to protect the civilian populace.
"I think the volume of military there is to make sure that it is contained. You know, if the government's position was a military position, then we wouldn't have seen that yesterday. Our government is very conscious of the civilians that are going to be affected," she said.
President Benigno Aquino III said on Tuesday that the government has an "overwhelming" number of troops in Zamboanga City.
Deles said that currently three Cabinet members - Secretaries Voltaire Gazmin of the Department of National Defense, Manuel Roxas II of the Department of Interior and Local Government, and Corazon Soliman of the Department of Social Welfare and Development - have been in Zamboanga to ensure the safety of the civilians and their needs are being taken care of.
She also said that the government has been searching for those who could help the government in ending the stand-off which started last Monday when armed members of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under Nur Misuari's faction landed in a coastal village in Zamboanga City reportedly to call for independence.
"There is a continuing search for those who may be able to bridge. I understand that messages have been sent and we have been receiving… And that the Zamboanga City command, the consolidated command there has not found any—has not received any proposals from the other side for actions that can be taken to end this stalemate," she said.
She added that the government even sent a message to Indonesia, the facilitator authorized by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in the tripartite meetings between the government and the MNLF, "if there is something that they can do."
The Misuari-wing MNLF was reportedly calling for the OIC to intervene to resolve the issue. (SDR/Sunnex)