MNLF members in Oro hold prayer rally-A A +A
Sunday, September 15, 2013
DOZENS of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) from Northern Mindanao region converged in this city in a prayer rally Sunday.
Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda, Cagayan de Oro City police Office (Cocpo) chief of the operations and plans branch, said around 60 officials from the MNLF staged a public gathering at Kiosko sa Kagawasan in Divisoria.
Gonda said the police did not monitor any unusual activities during the rally as police officers were deployed not only at the rally site but also in other strategic areas in the city.
Different denominations from the religious sector joined the MNLF in a prayer to end conflicts in Mindanao.
The Aid to Life Ministries Inc./Foundation Inc., Jesus for All Nations, Philippine Evangelical Networks, and Youth for Glory participated in the rally themed “building a culture of peace.”
Rev. Sammy Tagalog, MNLF overall commander for Northern and Eastern Mindanao, told the public that they are for the independence in Mindanao.
“Sayud kita nga kana nga deklarasyon founded sa katungod sa taga Mindanao. Sama sa usa ka kamot kung pasakitan ang usa ka tudlo, sakit tanan. Maoy hinungdan nangayo kita ug intervention sa kapastoran,” Tagalog, whose rank in the MNLF is Lieutenant General, told reporters.
He said they want a review on the 45-year-old peace agreement with Congress and Senate, adding they have been calling for independence but it needs the intervention of the lawmakers to include the MNLF to the peace agreement.
Tagalog said the standoff in Zamboanga City was not the order of MNLF chairman Nur Misuari, and that it has to be investigated on who started it.
“Ilhon lang nga duna mi katungod (Just recognize that we have the right),” he added. “We have a standing peace agreement with the government. Kinahanglan mahatagan ug mileage dili lang Muslim, lumad duna, Christian pud (It has to be given mileage not just Muslim, the lumad has, and the Christian too).”
Tagalog said they have been in warfare for 27 years already and that they wanted an end to this conflict.
Nearly 100 Moro rebels who have held scores of people hostage for a week in Zamboanga City have been killed or captured in an offensive to retake rebel-held coastal communities, officials said Sunday. [Read related story]
Six policemen and soldiers, along with four villagers, have been killed in the standoff, which began Monday when troops foiled an attempt by the rebels, who arrived by boat from outlying islands, to march and hoist their flag at Zamboanga's City hall. They barged into five coastal villages and took more than 100 hostages as human shields. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 16, 2013.