Int'l mediation not needed to resolve Zamboanga crisis-A A +A
Friday, September 13, 2013
THERE is no need to involve a third party.
This is how some Dabawenyos take stance on reports that the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is demanding for an international mediation to resolve the Zamboanga crisis.
Lawyer Fatima Adin-Purisima said the Philippine government and the MNLF should resume peace talks instead.
"The venue for peace talks is immaterial. What is important is they go back to the negotiating table and stop unnecessary violence, lost of lives and even lost of property," she said.
Purisima said international mediation is "not necessary."
Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 Judge George Omelio echoed the same stance with Purisima.
"Demand (for international mediation) is baseless. This is internal conflict. MNLF is not a state but a part of the Philippines," Omelio said.
Alberto Egot, marketing manager of Kisan Lu Lands Development Inc., said an international body might "not listen to whatever they are into, because they are enemies of the state."
"Because they are rebels. They will always create chaos in Mindanao," Egot said.
He said he feels sad of the turnout of events because he presumed that “war” itself could only be the way to stop the chaos in Zamboanga City.
“I don't think if these rebels will buy another peace talk. There is always a 'break-away group', a separatist, or lost command from these rebel groups,” Egot said.
On the other hand, Aimee Agbayani of the Regional Trial Court-Office of the Clerk of Court said the intervention from the UN is not an assurance that the standoff will be put to an end.
“If the conflict, armed or otherwise, can be resolved between the parties locally, then, it is best. But if the conflict cannot be resolved within their level, international mediation could be resorted to but still we cannot assure that conflict will end,” Agbayani said.
Jef Tupas, a Davao-based journalist, said the Moro rebels deserve attention both from the government and the international community.
"The conflict that broke out between the government and the MNLF is a symptom of a failure on the side of the side of the government to keep its promises with the government," Tupas said, adding that the government has isolated Misuari.
"This is not to justify the conflict in Zamboanga but rather, what's happening is telling of something, a portent of what must happen should the government sign final peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front," he added.
Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Wednesday said the MNLF were demanding for an international mediation on its third day standoff.
The Inquirer reported that Salazar, head of the local crisis committee, said a former governor of Sulu province tried to talk to the followers of MNLF leader Nur Misuari on Tuesday, “but they refused to talk to anyone locally.”
“They say that it’s an international problem, and no less than the international community, the (United Nations), should come in,” Salazar said.
The government, on the other hand, had no immediate response to the rebels’ demand for international mediation.
Secretary Teresita Deles, presidential adviser for the peace process, said the government had opened all avenues of communication with Misuari to end the standoff in Zamboanga without further bloodshed.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 13, 2013.