Pinoys approve President Aquino’s peace efforts

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A March 23, 2011 press release by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
The most recent Pulse Asia survey says that majority of Filipinos are satisfied with the Aquino administration’s peace efforts.
Conducted from February 24 to March 6 with 1,200 respondents, Pulse Asia’s “Ulat ng Bayan” for March 2011 showed that the administration of President Benigno Aquino III scored a majority approval rating on “improving the national peace situation.”
The administration’s performance was rated on 11 national issues including: fighting graft and corruption, fighting criminality, improving the national peace situation, enforcing the law equally on all Filipinos, protecting the environment, creating more jobs, increasing the pay of workers, reducing poverty, expanding the source of government funds, controlling population growth, and controlling inflation.
The survey revealed that among the 11 points, the President’s peace efforts is one of the three national issues which recorded the highest ratings.
The other two issues which marked majority approval ratings are:  fighting graft and corruption (56%) and fighting criminality (54%). Approval on the national peace situation was pegged at 53%.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles said that the high rating implies that the government’s efforts on peace are really felt by the people.
“We are happy about this. It is a continuing challenge for us to make sure that peace continues in our country amidst the conflict besetting other countries,” she stated.
The pursuit of peace is one of the priorities of the administration, according to Deles. “The peace issue has always been high in the consciousness of the Aquino administration,” she stated.
Deles also said that the peace issue, particularly in relation to Mindanao, has been laid out in the full-page ad published by then Senators Aquino and Mar Roxas in November 2009.
“The peace issue has already been in his radar screen even before he was president-elect,” the peace adviser added.
Deles said that the paper was titled “A Social Contract with the Filipino People.” It contained 16 provisions in which no. 14 focused on the issue of peace in Mindanao.
In February, the government re-started peace talks with the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
It is also pursuing closure tracks with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) and the Rebolusyonaryong Partidong Manggagawa – Pilipinas/Revolutionary Proletarian Army/Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPMP/RPA/ABB).
Last month, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) held week-long formal talks in Oslo, Norway where they agreed to an 18-month timeframe for the completion of agreements on the remaining substantive agenda, such as socio-economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and end of hostilities and disposition of forces.
The government also held the first formal exploratory talks, under the Aquino administration, with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on February 9-10. The next round is scheduled on April 27-28.