Dureza: Don't use military option in Zambo
MANILA - Former Presidential Adviser on Mindanao Affairs Jesus Dureza urged the government to fast track the negotiations with the Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) without going the "military option" route.
Dureza said more lives will be lost if the siege continues.
“Know exactly why it happened, pero kailangan ma-resolve ito as soon as possible...dahil pag tumagal ito, mas marami ang masasaktan at mahirap na,” he said.
He said the “military option” should not be entertained at all.
He also urged the public to be patient with the government. “We should also be patient...hindi madali ito... huwag tayong maging impatient sa mga negoatiators ng gobyerno natin...hindi madali ito..."
The siege is now on its third day. Fresh gunfights again erupted on Wednesday morning, forcing more residents to flee. Already, food and water supplies have become scarce.
Meanwhile, Mindanao bishops asked the government and the group of Misuari to immediately go back to the negotiating table.
In an interview with Radio Veritas, Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo said a third party negotiator should already come in.
In the meantime, he urged Misuari to rein in his men. “Para sa MNLF, kung nakikinig ang mga lider nila sana naman ay bigyan nila ng mabuting pagtingin ang mga pangyayari in a simple and peaceful way ay maresolba ito.”
He added: “Puwede silang magpakumbabang sumuko o voluntarily mag-withdraw sa kanilang kasalukuyang posisyon at bumalik sa kanilang pinanggalingan. Panawagan din natin sa ating pamahalaan na sana naman isaisip yung kaligtasan ng mga sibilyan at kaayusan. Walang ibang solusyon sa stand-off kundi negosasyon at dayalogo at pagbigyan yung mga reasonable na request ng MNLF.”
Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumaod also asked Misuari to be open to dialogue.
“Mas dapat paigtingin ng gobyerno ang pag-uusap sa grupo ni Misuari. That is why I appeal to chairman Nur Misuari to be open to dialogue and resolve this crisis through peaceful negotiations.”
Surigao del Sur Bishop Antonieto Cabajug and CBCP Episcopal Commission on Canon Law chairman Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso asked Misuari’s men to release the hostages.
“Everything should be discussed on the table, but never use violence and arms for the discussion, we are civilized people and we know what is right and wrong. The most logical place to be heard is on the table,” Medroso said.