MANILA, Philippines – The Archdiocese of Zamboanga asked the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to spare innocent civilians in the ongoing conflict in Mindanao, reported Radyo Inquirer 990AM Tuesday.
The archdiocese’s administrator Monsignor Crisologo Manongas also called on the government not to give into the demands of the MNLF but to continue to negotiate.
Manongas said their archdiocese has opened all of their churches for evacuees, regardless if they were Muslim or Christian.
Early Monday, MNLF members and government troops clashed in Zamboanga City, leaving at least six people dead and at least 35 held captive.
Reports said the group timed their attack for the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari has criticized the MILF’s Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro for possibly watering down the gains of their 1996 peace agreement.