"Thank you, Mr. Tony Blair, but no thanks' – Pinol

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), in a statement issued today, said the issue can better be resolved through dialogues among stakeholders. It passed a resolution junking Malacañang’s proposal to bring Blair in. 

A day before, Piñol, who presides over the board, issued a statement titled “Thank You Mr. Tony Blair, But No Thanks!” wherein he scored Malacañang for its attempt to bring in Blair because his charm could help end the decades-old conflict in Mindanao.

“The statement that Blair’s charm and charisma could end the trouble in the South is a perfect example of the jaundiced perspective of our policy makers and peace negotiators of the true cause and root of the problem in Mindanao and the solutions that could bring an end to the conflict,” he said.

“We might as well invite movie actresses like Judy Ann Santos and Sharon Cuneta who have also charm and charisma,” Piñol said. “Maybe they can use their charm and charisma to convince Umbra Kato, Commander Bravo, Abu Sabaya and Dulmatin to end their terrorist activities in Mindanao,” he said.

August last year, Piñol filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) at the Supreme Court to prevent the government peace panel from signing the already initialed Memorandum of Agreement on the Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD), a feat that took a while to forge with its MILF counterparts.

The high court’s decision to grant the TRO, prevented the government panel from signing the MOA-AD on Aug. 5 in Kuala Lumpur, sparked MILF attacks in Lanao, North Cotabato and neighboring areas. The renewed skirmishes between government troops and the MILF led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)