Aquino leaves Zamboanga, says gov’t to regain conflict areas slowly but surely
More News from Kristine Angeli Sabillo
MANILA, Philippines – “Slow, sure, deliberate” was how President Benigno Aquino III described the military actions in Zamboanga City, as he was about to leave for Manila, two weeks into the conflict.
In a televised press conference, Aquino said government operations in the area were carefully planned to save hostages held by the Moro National Liberation Front.
“[Operations] should be slow, sure, deliberate and well thought-out to accomplish the primary mission [of recovering the hostages],” the President said, in response to why the conflict has yet to be resolved since clashes between the MNLF and government forces started September 9.
Aquino explained it was difficult for the military and the police to determine, whenever they entered a house, if the person in front of them was a hostage or an enemy, contributing to the drawn-out clearing operations.
“We cannot just fire mortars at the rebels and disregard the people caught in the middle,” he said.
He also said there was a belief that food, ammunition and other needs of the MNLF were “prepositioned beforehand,” explaining why the Moro gunmen are able to last that long.
The President, who arrived in Zamboanga City last September 13, said he was returning to Manila to tend to other responsibilities.
He said there were several pending appointments that needed to be approved, including that of a deputy ombudsman, in addition to the problems faced by the storm-devastated Batanes.
Nevertheless, the President assured the public that the conflict is about to end as the government readies rehabilitation efforts, as well as charges to be filed against MNLF leader Nur Misuari.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94