Pimentel Urges Philippine Govt to Use All Means to Stop Sulu Clashes

Apr. 17, 2007

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino
Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today urged the
Arroyo government and the Armed Forces of the
Philippines to persuade the Moro National Liberation
Front (MNLF) group led by Ustadz Habier Malik to
immediately stop the hostilities in Sulu.

Pimentel warned that the fighting may spread to more
areas in Mindanao while other MNLF forces may be drawn
into conflict if the government will not take the
initiative to effect a ceasefire.

He said Maliks declaration of a holy war or jihad
may lead to an escalation of armed clashes which will
endanger the peace process in Mindanao.

Pimentel, who is now in Cagayan de Oro City, said he
has received reports that fighting has spilled over to
several Sulu towns.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should halt the
fighting in the eight Sulu towns Marang, Mt.
Tumantangis, Indanang, Seit, Tay-ungan, Panamao,
Bayug, Talipo, the senator from Mindanao said.

Pimentel said AFP posts in Jolo are under threat of
attacks from the rebels. The peace efforts may be laid
to waste, he said.

An escalation of hostilities in Sulu should be
avoided at all costs because of the terrible
consequences it will bring. We should not allow more
people to lose their lives and limbs. We should
prevent the dislocation of the civilian population.

The fighting, according to Pimentel, would also
disrupt if not cause the cancellation of the May 14
elections in Sulu.

Office of Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Q.
Pimentel, Jr.
Senate, Pasay City

Press Release

Date: April 17, 2007
Ref: Omeng / (02) 5526731

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