Saturday, 29 October 2011 09:56
It will be recalled that sometime in 2009 when Lt. Gen. Dolorfino was newly installed as WESMINCOM commander, a total of twenty two (22) soldiers were killed somewhere in Tipo-Tipo, Basilan.
Five (5) scout rangers were killed while conducting an operation and 17 marine soldiers were killed in an ambush while on their way to reinforce the beleaguered Scout Ranger Unit.
Former Senator Rodolfo Biazon then chairman on committee of national defense came over to Zamboanga City and held a dialogue at the roof deck of Garden Orchid Hotel.
The purpose was to recommend for the suspension of the peace talks between the GRP and MILF panels because of the incident.
The participants were former Vice-Gov. Manuel Pinol of North Cotabato, Gov. Jum Akbar of Basilan, top local officials of Zamboanga City and some NGOs.
Instead of addressing the Basilan incident, Senator Biazon in grandstanding was talking about the holding of the peace talks in foreign lands and some participants were talking on issues not related to th eBasilan problem.
This writer warned Senator Rodolfo Biazon before walking out that if the Basilan problem will not be addressed “our soldiers will continue to die like chickens.”
As predicted, it happened again where 19 soldiers including 4 officers were killed and 11 others were wounded at Al Barka, Basilan on October 18, 2011 because of the ignorance of some national officials in dealing with the problems in the field.
The recommendation of the author was to strengthen the implementation of the ceasefire agreement mechanism by creating a local ceasefire committee as an effective venue for coordination between the representatives of the government forces on the ground and the MILF in the area inorder to prevent unnecessary clashes and mistaken encounters between the two forces while negotiation for the settlement of the conflict is being undertaken in the national level.
By Rex Miravite
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