Calingasan, 25 other Mindanao govs back PNoy’s “all-out justice”

MALAYBALAY CITY – (Bukidnon News/27 October) Gov. Alex Calingasan has
joined 25 other Mindanao governors in supporting President Aquino’s
vow for all-out justice following the series of incidents that killed
at least 40 soldiers, civilians and Moro guerrillas and displaced some
20,000 residents in some villages in Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay.

“I believe that the damage of an all-out war is even bigger than war
itself, it can never be an option,” Calingasan told Bukidnon News via
telephone.

The 26 governors have issued a manifesto of support for President
Aquino’s “all-out justice” vow, drowning calls from mostly
Manila-based leaders to wage an “all-out war,” according to a report
by MindaNews.

“We firmly believe an all-out war is not an option because the
collateral damage can take a heavy toll not just within the conflict
areas but the whole of Mindanao,” the Confederation of Provincial
Governors, City Mayors and Municipal Mayors’ League Presidents of
Mindanao (Confed Mindanao) said as quoted in the report.

“We assert that peace is a central ingredient to the country’s future
and is a path we all must remain firmly committed to achieving,” the
“Manifesto of Support to the President’s call for All-out Justice and
Upholding the Primacy of the Peace Process,” said.

The manifesto was signed on October 26 by Davao del Norte Governor and
Confed Mindanao president, Rodolfo del Rosario on behalf of  the
governors and mayors “who have individually expressed consensus to
this Manifesto.”

Mindanao has 26 provinces, 33 cities, 355 towns and 8,178 barangays,
according to records of the National Statistics Coordination Board.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s
situation report as of 8 a.m. October 27 said a total of 4,003
families or 19,481 persons were displaced in 39  barangays in five
towns in Basilan and Zamboanga Sibugay, MindaNews reported.

A total of  2,417 families or 11,593 persons were displaced from 30
barangays in Zamboanga Sibugay – 21 in Alicia, Mabuhay, Payao and
Talusan towns, and 1,586 families or 7,888 persons in nine barangays
in Al-barka, Basilan.

Twenty-nine soldiers were reported killed: 19 in Basilan, eight in
Zamboanga Sibugay and two in Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte.
The NDRRMC reported one civilian died while two others were injured in
Basilan;  four persons killed and eight injured in Alicia, Zambaonga
Sibugay and one reported missing in Alicia. MILF spokesperson Von al
Haq told MindaNews they lost five members in Basilan while two others
were injured.

Del Rosario presented the manifesto in a press conference at the Marco
Polo hotel Wednesday afternoon, MindaNews reported.

The Manifesto also called on both government and the MILF to “remain
steadfast and pursue a track that allows for a genuinely inclusive and
transparent peace process, with greater engagement of the Mindanao
stakeholders including the LGUs (local government units).

The governors and mayors said they “stand by the decision of President
Aquino to take the moral high ground of going for all-out justice and
peace, instead of all-out-war in addressing the conflict in parts of
Mindanao.”

“We honor our fallen soldiers who valiantly fought with their lives
defending this nation. We strongly urge on relentlessly pursuing and
subjecting those responsible for condemnable acts to the rule of law
as this is one crucial way for the peace process to move forward,” the
manifesto added.

Hence, we support the calibrated and targeted military actions against
the lawless elements,” the manifesto said, adding an all-out war is
“not an option.”

As of Thursday afternoon, MindaNews reported that 16 of 33 city mayors
have expressed support and eight presidents of the Municipal Mayors’
Leagues. Del Rosario said more are expected to express their support.
(Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)

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