Duterte ‘blames’ gov’t for Zambo conflict-A A +A
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Monday blamed the Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel for its failure to include the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in the peace pact with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
“Ang kaning mga taga Manila, mga bugok. Giingnan na nako sila nga do not enter into an agreement with the MILF, forgetting the MNLF (These Manila people – referring to the GPH – are stupid. I told them not to enter into an agreement with MILF and forget the agreement with MNLF). It should be done simultaneously,” Duterte said in his message during the program commending the 911 rescuers held in front of the City Hall on Monday, September 9.
Duterte said this was his “stern warning” given to the government peace panel who sought for his input regarding the peace process sometime ago.
He revealed that he received a call from an official from Malacañang regarding the peace process.
“I gave some but the warning that I stressed, ayaw pakig-areglo sa MILF, if you would just forget the MNLF kay wala pa na ma-perfect (don’t come up with an agreement with MILF because you have not yet perfected the implementation of the peace agreement with MNLF),” he said.
“Ayaw mo ug sulod diha kung dili pa sigurado (Don’t get into that if you’re not sure yet). You will have a problem with (Nur) Misuari,” the mayor quoted what he said to the peace panel.
He said it would be best for the government and the MNLF to go back to the drawing table.
“It’s better to talk for a thousand years than fight a day’s war and lose lives unnecessarily,” he said.
Duterte also said he finally got in touch with Misuari and appealed that tensions not spill over into Davao.
Duterte called for some leaders of the MNLF who are in the city to talk regarding the siege in Zamboanga City.
“I just expressed my concern about the ongoing conflict there because it has resulted into so much violence. Sabi ko kung pwede sana pag-usapan na lang,” Duterte said in an interview.
“I hope we can lessen violence activity. I am against violence whether initiated by government or by Nur,” he said.
Zamboanga City Mayor Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said at least six people died while 24 were wounded in Monday’s clash between government troops and alleged members of the MNLF.
The fighting occurred Monday after troops backed by tanks blocked the MNLF rebels -- armed with assault rifles and grenade launchers – from marching into the Zamboanga City Hall, where they plan to raise their flag to declare independence, said military spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala.
He said most of the rebels were boxed into a Muslim coastal slum called Rio Hondo. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 11, 2013.