Malacanang Statement on 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI)

Statement of Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda:
On the fifth edition of the Institute for Economics and Peace’s
Global Peace Index (GPI)
[Released on May 26, 2011]
The cause of peace, as the President pointed out in his first State of the Nation Address, is a fundamental requirement of development and prosperity. Back in July 2010, the President had told the nation, “It is difficult to begin discussions in earnest if the smell of gunpowder still hangs in the air. I call on everyone concerned not to waste a good opportunity to rally behind our common aspiration for peace … Our foundation for growth is peace.”
There is no clearer demonstration of the consequences and impact of violence than the fifth edition of the Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index (GPI) released yesterday, which categorized the Philippines as among the nations “in conflict” and “grappling with fetters to social and economic development of its citizens.”
Among 153 countries surveyed, the Philippines was No. 136, or among the bottom 20 “least at peace,” leaving the Philippines’ tally unchanged from their previous edition. GPI, “with most measures of safety and security in society registering high scores to reflect a tense security situation in several parts of the archipelago” pointed to tensions in Mindanao, particularly Basilan and Jolo, where several separatist movements remain active, citing the series of bombings and shootings in Mindanao in April 2010 that killed 14 people during the closing months of the Arroyo administration.
We have continued to work on two fronts to ensure that the country and our people can move forward with peace and order providing the means to empower our people to pursue productive activities.
Whether in terms of peace talks with the MNLF or the MILF, or the NDF, our peace panels, in cooperation with national authorities and our friends in the global community of nations, are engaged in talks characterized by honesty, dedication, and open-mindedness. Talks with the NDF, stalled for almost seven years, have resumed. Talks with the MILF and MNLF are progressing.
We will remain steadfast on the path to peace. This administration views hostilities as an unacceptable condition; we will continue to be dissatisfied so long as we cannot achieve an honorable, just, and lasting peace for our people.
We are moving forward, knowing so much is at stake, and so much to be gained as we resolve these generations-old conflicts.