Friday, September 13, 2013

Statement of Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles: On the situation in Zamboanga City

From the Website of GPH - Government of the Philippines

Zamboanga City, September 10, 2013

Statement of Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles:
On the situation in Zamboanga City
[September 10, 2013]

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) calls for calm and sobriety amid the atrocities perpetrated since early yesterday morning in Zamboanga City by Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members associated with Nur Misuari.

We pray for the safety of innocent civilians taken as hostages by these armed rebels. The government is doing its best to restore peace and order in Zamboanga City and to hold these rogue elements accountable for their actions.

We condemn acts of violence perpetrated by spoilers out to derail the people’s journey to a just and lasting peace that would soon bring jobs, infrastructure programs, and quality education to the Bangsamoro people, if not the whole of Mindanao. To them we ask, how can you demand to hoist your flag in the name of peace while brazenly bearing arms and hurting innocent civilians?

We condemn not only the armed aggression sanctioned by some leaders of the MNLF-Misuari wing, but also its malicious campaign to mislead the public and spur their members to rebel with their insinuation that the Philippine Government already terminated the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) that the MNLF led by Nur Misuari signed with the GPH in 1996.

The Philippine government stands firm in its quest for peaceful solutions to the conflict in Mindanao through inclusive dialogue and formal peace negotiations.

We seek the people’s support and prayers as our security forces and local governments work together to restore peace and order in Zamboanga City.

The following are some facts on the real status of the GPH-MNLF peace process, disproving the allegations of the MNLF-Misuari group:

1. The Philippine Government did not terminate the 1996 GPH-MNLF Final Peace Agreement. What the government intended was the completion of the almost six-year Tripartite Review Process on the implementation of the 1996 FPA, to pave the way for the Agreement’s full implementation.
2.  The Aquino Administration has continuously engaged the MNLF through the GPH-MNLF-OIC Tripartite Review Process, since the Administration’s start last July, 2010. The process has been moving with one (1) formal Tripartite meeting, two (2) Ad Hoc High-Level Group meetings, several informal technical meetings and consultations since the start of this Administration. In all these meetings, Nur Misuari personally attended and participated in the process that led to the GPH-MNLF’s 42 consensus points on amendments to RA 9054.2.

3.  The OIC-PCSP has already scheduled the convening of the 5th Meeting of the GPH-MNLF-OIC Tripartite Review on the Implementation of the 1996 FPA on Monday, 16 September 2013 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is for this that the Chair of the OIC-PCSP, Indonesian Ambassador Hassan Kleib visited the country last week for top-level consultations with the GPH in Manila on 5 September 2013, and the MNLF groups in Davao City on 6 September 2013, in preparation for the meeting.

4.  The proposed completion of the Tripartite Review Process was thoroughly discussed and clearly understood by the OIC-PCSP as shown by the letter to the OIC Secretary General of Indonesian Foreign Minister Dr. Marty Natalegawa, which the Indonesian Ministry shared with us, which states that “the GPH conveyed its assurances that in the case of the closure of the Tripartite Implementation Review Process, GPH will continue to engage relevant parties of the MNLF, through existing mechanism, to find a just and comprehensive political solution for the issue of the  Southern Philippines.”

5.  On the development aspect, the Philippine Government has been engaging the MNLF under the PAMANA program that covered former MNLF bases that were transformed into Peace and Development Communities as beneficiaries, and provided assistance for community infrastructure needs.
6.  The ARMM Regional Government on the other hand, has likewise signed an agreement with the MNLF through ARMM-MNLF Cooperation for Peace and Development on 8 November 2012, which was personally witnessed by Nur Misuari. The MOA provides for delivery of development projects and programs to benefit their communities. More than 50 senior MNLF leaders signed a resolution of commitment on 1 September 2013, as partner of the regional government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to help alleviate the economic status and welfare of the MNLF communities through socio-economic projects in Mindanao and affirming their continued support to the 1996 FPA.

Clearly, the armed group that staged these violent attacks in Zamboanga City had genuine peace farthest from their minds. The group’s willful intent to misunderstand and misrepresent the real status of the peace process was very clear. We call on Chairman Misuari to reign in his followers, and listen to the clamor of the Bangsamoro people for the advancement of a comprehensive peace agreement and the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement, to which the Philippine government remains committed to achieve just and lasting peace in Mindanao.

Statement of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the PHL on Zamboanga City

The Office of the Presidential Spokesperson is sharing the statement of Luiza Carvalho, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines.

Statement by the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines

Following the recent outbreak of violence in Zamboanga City, the United Nations Team in the Philippines expresses its concerns in view of the humanitarian situation affecting the civilian population.

The United Nations Country Team calls for an immediate end to the violence, deeply  regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives, and calls for safe passage of civilians caught in the cross fire. Furthermore, the United Nations has taken good note of the statement issued by the Government of the Philippines highlighting its priority to safeguard and protect the civilian population.

The United Nations in the Philippines confirms that any movement, non-state actors or person is not authorized to speak or issue statements on behalf of the United Nations in any matters concerning any engagements that the United Nations and the Philippines may have.  Any statement or actions do not in any way represent the views of the United Nations and we also categorically deny any relationship or any association with a certain “Mr. Xavier Daniel” who allegedly portrays himself as representing the United Nations.
The United Nations stands ready to support the Government of the Philippines in its efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and to alleviate the humanitarian needs of the civilian population affected by the armed clashes in the City of Zamboanga. The United Nations calls on all parties involved to respect and protect the rights of the civilian population, provide special attention to women and children and avoid unnecessary human suffering by reaching agreement to end the standoff.

GPH Website

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