President Benigno S. Aquino III leads his official family in prayer before presiding over the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Monday (February 16, 2015). Also in photo are Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, Jr., Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr., Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, Presidential Management Staff Head Julia Andrea Abad and Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya. (MNS Photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III leads his official family in prayer before presiding over the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Monday (February 16, 2015). Also in photo are Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, Jr., Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr., Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Jesus Paje, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, Presidential Management Staff Head Julia Andrea Abad and Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar C. Binay Wednesday called on President Benigno Aquino III to convene the National Security Council (NSC) to assess the national peace and security situation and define appropriate measures.

“In light of recent developments especially the reports of renewed clashes in Mindanao, I urge President Aquino to convene the National Security Council,” Binay said.

“The meeting will assess the current peace and order and security situation, and formulate the proper mechanisms that would prepare our law enforcement and the armed forces to respond accordingly,” he added.

The Vice President stressed that in view of the escalating conflicts in Mindanao, it is important to be prepared for any eventuality.

“We need to be prepared. We have to discuss not only what’s happening now but how to be ready for the future. We need to invite persons who possess knowledge and experience on matters pertaining to national security,” he said.

“The NSC meeting will provide our security forces the framework to act, keeping in mind that our ultimate goal is to ensure stability and pursue peace in Mindanao,” he added.

The NSC is composed of the President, the Vice President, the Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, the National Security Council director, the executive secretary, and the secretaries of foreign affairs, national defense, interior and local government, justice, and labor and employment.

Barely a month after the police raid in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, gunfire once again rattled the province after members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) clashed Saturday.

More than 15,000 residents of Kabasalan, Barongis, Buliok, Bago Inged, Bulol and Rajamuda in Pikit, North Cotabato, and Kalbugan and Buliok in Pagalungan, Maguindanao have reportedly fled their homes to escape the combat.

Commander Lt. Col. Orlando Edralin of the 7th Infantry Battalion said the clash seemed to have evolved from being just a “rido” or clan war to a full-blown fight between MILF and BIFF. (MNS)