President Aquino on Mindanao: The government won’t rest until peace is achieved

December 1, 2010 press release by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process
President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday said that the government will not rest until Mindanao achieves the peace and development its people have been longing for.
“We believe that peace is the foundation of progress, and we will not rest until we find a resolution that will take the burdens of achieving a little peace and quiet in their lives off the shoulders of the Filipino people,” he stated during the presentation of Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework and oathtaking of Mindanao officials at the Heroes Hall in Malacañang Palace.

Aquino added that the current administration is bent on pursuing peace and development in southern Philippines, which has been plagued with decades-old armed conflict and poverty.
“Our citizens are made to bear the consequences of the inner conflict in this country, both in the combat zones and in the bureaucracy. This must end; and our administration is facing these challenges head on so that we can create a unified, peaceful Philippines where our citizenry can fulfill their dreams and where the nightmare of conflict is a thing of the past. Mindanao will be the land of promises,” he said.
The President related that efforts to restart the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have begun, and consultations with stakeholders in different parts of Mindanao have been initiated by the government peace panel.
He cited the efforts of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita “Ging” Deles in engaging the various stakeholders in peace in Mindanao.
“Secretary Ging Deles has started to engage local leaders and stakeholders in Mindanao in a consultative process, and is working hard to get them to rally behind a common ground for the attainment of just, sustainable and lasting peace,” he stated.
Aquino stressed that “Mindanao will be at the core of our social development and poverty alleviation programs.”even as government will likewise push for agricultural development and investment generation in the south.
Aside from intermediate interventions targeting internally displaced persons (IDPs) and communities, the President said that the government will set long-term programs that have gained continued support from various development partners, such as the European Commission.
Aquino commended the Mindanao 2020 Peace and Development Framework for its holistic research and insights. The framework will guide development plans for Mindanao in the next 10 years.
He urged everyone to continue their commitment to developing a “new Mindanao – one that is free of the aggression and tension that has kept it in the shadows all these years, one that fulfills its potential as a significant contributor to the nation’s success.”