Biazon: Time to scrutinize UN policies for peacekeepers
MANILA, Philippines—Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon wants Defense and Foreign Affairs officials to answer questions about the United Nation’s (UN) policies about command over the peacekeepers following the controversial order from a UN commander that the Filipinos surrender to the Syrian rebels.
“I have filed a resolution in the House of Representatives for the conduct of an inquiry into the clarity of policies of UN relative to peacekeeping forces,” Biazon, a former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff, told reporters Wednesday about his resolution filed Monday.
Biazon, the head of the House of Representatives Defense Committee enumerated the three issues he wants answered:
1. Does the UN have a contingent force to respond to assist UN contingents put in a similar position [as the Filipino and Fiji peacekeepers]?
2. Does the UN provide for the families of soldiers who might be killed in action?
3. What are the limitations in armaments of the UN forces? Biazon wants to know why Filipino troops don’t have mortars or artillery.
“The basic question is what is the policy of the UN? Is it their policy that the UN contingent can be ordered to surrender?” Biazon said.
“The Department of National Defense (DND) together with Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) must be able to answer the questions,” he said.
Filipino Peacekeepers had defied an order from a UN Disengagement Observation Force commander that they surrender after being surrounded by some 100 Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights.
A contingent of Fijian peacekeepers surrendered their arms to the rebels and were held as hostages.
The 40 Filipino soldiers managed to escape in the dead of night while the rebels were sleeping.
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