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Mindanao standoff ‘must not derail’ peace process

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MANILA, Sept. 12, 2013— The country’s biggest organization of Catholic schools is hoping that peace process will not be derailed following the violence in Mindanao. 

The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) said the ongoing crisis in Zamboanga City must be resolved immediately and not allow violence from overtaking the peace efforts. 

“Let peace not be thwarted; let the peace process not be derailed,” the CEAP said. 

The group issued the statement Thursday as fighting between security forces and rogue Muslim rebels seeking to declare an independent state escalated and spread to Basilan island. 

The Catholic educators also lamented the MNLF move of “wielding terror” but protecting themselves from the military by using their hostages as human shields.

“This is not the way to a Mindanao solution. This is not the way to peace,” they said. 

According to them, the status quo cannot continue in Mindanao because the people have suffered enough, as they reiterated their support for the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro. 

“What was attempted in this direction in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, and failed, needs to be overcome,” they said. “We waged peace, not war. Much work has been done. But it is not yet over.” 

The CEAP also joined the call of Filipino Muslims in Mindanao for sobriety and for all to work for peace. 

The CEAP has 1,345 member educational institutions. Membership in the group is voluntary. (Jandel Posion)


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