Friday, August 7, 2009

Deployment of Marine soldiers as Cotabato peacemakers urged

14 Manila Bulletin wednesday, july 15, 2009


COTABATO CITY- Businessmen including church leaders and local government officials yesterday asked President Arroyo to send a contingent of Marine soldiers to this city to help

policemen and Army soldiers prevent the escalation of hostilities here particularly kidnapping and bombings. The Cotabato Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, religious leaders and local officials said they are confident that the peace and order situation would normalize if members of Philippine Marines will serve as peacekeepers in the city. It was gathered that President Arroy on is scheduled to visit this city on Friday to meet with religious leaders, Army and police officials and local government executives in an effort to address the security problem of the city. Earlier, at least six persons were killed and 52others were injured when a man planted an improvised explosive device IED) near a stall fronting the Cotabato Cathedral last July 5. As an aftermath of the bombing, the business community suspended their operations last Friday in what they described as "indignation protest" against terrorism and other

forms o£ violence that are taking place in this city. "We feel secured if the Marines are seen on the streets, there's no abuses too," a Filipino-Chinese trader said. "Like in the '90s, when the Marines were here, many kidnappers and bombers were neutralized," he added. Members of the city council here favor the deployment of battle tested and disciplined Marine soldiers in this city as a peacemakers. Maguindanao Rep. Didagen Dilangalen also join the people here in calling Mrs. Arroyo to deploy a contingent of Marine soldiers here aimed at thwarting the spate of violence besetting the city. . "I have been proposing that idea, but there are people who opposed to it," Dilangalen said, without naming them.


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