MNLF never offered to talk peace: Deles
MANILA - Presidential Peace Adviser Teresia "Ging" Deles on Tuesday said the Moro National Liberation Front faction under Nur Misuari did not ask for help from the Indonesian government to resolve the ongoing crisis in Zamboanga City.
In a statement, Deles said it was her office that asked Indonesia "to open their communication lines to assist in finding peaceful resolution to the Zamboanga incident to which they agreed and accordingly gave instructions to their embassy here."
She said embassy officials explained that their lines would be open to receive and transmit messages from one side to the other. She noted that embassy officials did not see it "to be within their role to proactively make a call to either side."
Deles said the Philippine government asked Indonesia and the entire Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) peace committee for help in resolving the crisis but none of the eight countries offered a proposal.
The peace adviser noted that the Misuari group only discussed their travel arrangements to attend the meeting in Yogyakarta until the MNLF asked for postponement of the meeting last Thursday.
"In response to our inquiry, they clarified that the Misuari group never asked or offered to talk about resolving the incident in Zamboanga," she said.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa earlier said their government is concerned with recent developments in the ongoing armed conflict in Zamboanga City.
“As neighbors and as facilitator of the achievement of the Final Peace Agreement in 1996 between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front, Indonesia urged all parties concerned to exercise restraint and ensure the safety and security of civilians,” Natalegawa said in a Philippine Star report.
“Peaceful solution is the only option that should be taken by both parties,” he said.
Natalegawa urged both parties to find a peaceful solution to the conflict and stand by the 1996 peace agreement.
“The 1996 Final Peace Agreement is a comprehensive agreement as the foundation for solving problems in the Southern Philippines for a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace,” he said. With a report by the Philippine Star