Rody Visits Zamboanga, to be Briefed on Fight against Abus and Peace Talks

Zamboanga City, Philippines, 16 Syawal 1437/21 July 2016 (MINA) – Tight security has been laid out for President Duterte when he visits troops at the Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command Thursday.

It will be Duterte’s first visit as commander-in-chief to troops outside Metro Manila.

Duterte is expected to arrive in Zamboanga City on Thursday morning and fly straight to Basilan, according to Westmincom spokesman Maj. Filemon Tan Jr.

The visit appears to be purely military and security, he added.

Accompanying Duterte are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and top defense and security officials.

Tan said Duterte will be secured following the security protocol.

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“We have a system for the security (of the President),” he said. “It’s a protocol to secure the President the best way we can.”

Tan said Duterte will visit ground forces in Basilan to hear and see for himself the security operations against the Abu Sayyaf.

“He should be briefed on the situation on the ground,” he said.

Duterte will fly back to Zamboanga City for a security briefing with Westmincom chief Lt. Gen. Mayoralgo dela Cruz and other military officials on the military operation in Sulu to secure the release of nine foreign hostages, including seven Indonesians, two Westerners and three Filipinos, Tan said.

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The Abu Sayyaf have reportedly seized at least five Malaysian tugboat crewmen off Lahad Datu, Sabah last Monday.

 

Dureza to meet MILF chief

Meanwhile, presidential adviser on the peace process Jesus Dureza will meet with Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Hadji Murad Ebrahim in Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao Thursday.

The Mindanao media liaison office of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in Cotabato City confirmed the meeting but did not provide details on what they would discuss.

The meeting will be held in a conference hall in Camp Darapanan, the MILF’s main bastion in northwest of Sultan Kudarat town.

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However, OPAPP sources hinted that Dureza and Murad might possibly talk about how Duterte plans to handle the 22-year peace overture between the MILF and the government.

The government and the MILF had reached two compacts in two decades of negotiations – the Oct. 15, 2013 Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro and, subsequently, the March 27, 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro.

Congress denied its imprimatur to the Bangsamoro bill when Benigno Aquino III was president. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)