Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Proposals to arm N Cotabato citizens meet opposition

KIDAPAWAN CITY, Philippines – Proposals to arm civilians as part of a defense plan against rebel attacks met opposition Monday from different sectors Monday.

Sultan Kudarat Suharto Teng Mangudadatu, chair of the RPOC, said that ‘mobilizing’ villagers will only worsen the situation.

Mangudadatu cited an incident in Kalamansig, one of the coastal towns in Sultan Kudarat, where the local government officials acted as mediators between the warring families to ease the tension instead of deploying additional Army troops in the area.

There were at least three resolutions passed during the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting held Monday at the capitol rooftop of the Cotabato Provincial Capitol here that urged local government units (LGUs) in North Cotabato towns affected by the recent skirmishes to provide ammunitions to civilians.

One of these resolutions was authored by Cotabato vice-governor Manny Pinol who chairs the provincial board; the other two were passed by Aleosan Mayor Loreto Cabaya and Midsayap Mayor Manuel Rabara.

Midsayap and Aleosan were two of the six towns recently attacked by the Moro rebels.

Cabaya, during the RPOC meeting, said that arming civilians will protect the communities from any Moro Islamic Liberation Front attack.

But Presidential adviser on the peace process Hermogenes Esperon stressed during the meeting that arming civilians will not guarantee total ‘peace’ in an area.

“This is because firearms can be used to commit other crimes. This can be abused," he said.

Chief Supt. Felizardo Serapio, regional police director, said that arming civilians “is not that easy."

“It has to go through a process," he stressed. - (Malu Cadelina Manar, GMANews.TV)

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