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Beng to GPH, MILF: ‘Respect ZC folks’ PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 13 May 2011 17:48

House Deputy Speaker Beng Climaco has emphatically put forward during a recent meeting with the government panel on the peace process the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines in negotiating peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“What does that mean? Zamboanga City has twice objected entry into the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and so they should respect the desire of the people that we remain as one Zamboanga City,” Climaco said.

She stressed “we are really for peace and for the MILF we hope that there would really be something positive that will be forged but let us also respect the desire of the people”.

The meeting, held just recently, was attended by Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Ging Deles and GRP panel head Marvic Leonen.

When inquired about the MILF claim that 5 barangays in Zamboanga City are included in the proposed Mindanao sub-state, Sec. Deles has emphasized that it is a statement of the MILF and that every detail in the proposed pact will pass through processes to be undertaken jointly by the GRP and the MILF including consultations with the people, according to Cong. Climaco.

“I would like to remind the Philippine government panel and the OPAPP that we are here to represent the interest of the people of the Philippines and the Zamboanguenos per se, are part of the people of the Philippines; the 98 barangays that should not be dismembered,” the lady solon said.
She reiterated “Let us respect the two plebiscites where Zamboanguenos voted against (the proposition to be part of the ARMM). We are for peace and we hope that something positive will be forged but let us respect the desire of the people that we remain as one Zamboanga City”.

She said she is banking on the OPAPP assurance that all these processes will pass through consultations. “And we will really make sure that the people of Zamboanga is consulted and will not be included in the proposal in whatever form of sub-state or Bangsamoro Juridical Entity because the Supreme Court has already decided. They should not act against the Constitution but they should respect the territorial integrity of our nation,” she added.

She assured that the city’s non-inclusion in the autonomous region or Bangsamoro entity is one issue that she, as a representative of the city, Mayor Celso Lobregat and the other local government leaders are standing pat. — Rham Joseph Cabasag

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