Sunday, October 23, 2011

Peace, not war is solution to Mindanao conflict

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 23, 2011) – Philippine Senator Franklin Drilon praised President Benigno Aquino for rejecting calls for an all-out war against the country’s largest Muslim rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front and said a peaceful solution to the conflict is the long standing answer to ensure peace in the troubled region of Mindanao.

“I fully support the President in his decision to thumb down proposals to scrap the peace process and wage an all-out war against the MILF due to what happened recently which killed several soldiers,” Drilon said in a statement to the Mindanao Examiner.

“The government must exhaust all means to pursue peace process with the MILF,” he added.

Some politicians and military officials urged Aquino to suspend cease-fire with the MILF in Basilan province to allow military operation against rebels who killed 19 soldiers on Tuesday in Al-Barka town.

Fighting erupted in the town after army commanders sent Special Forces troops on a test mission to arrest an MILF leader, Dan Asnawi, who is being accused as behind the spate of kidnappings and killings in Basilan.

Aquino relieved two senior army commanders Colonels Leonardo Peña, commander of the 4th Special Forces Battalion, and Alexander Macario, head of the army forces in Basilan, for their role in the mission. Another army official, Colonel Aminkandra Undug, commander of the Special Forces Regiment, remains, however in his post in Basilan.

Drilon also urged the public to support the President in his decision to continue with the peace process.

“Let us support the President in this undertaking. We believe that in time, we will succeed in our efforts to attain peace,” Drilon said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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