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PIA Press Release

Bunye: Gov't fights terrorism by growing the economy and eradicating poverty

Manila (24 April) -- Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye reiterated today the government's determination to fight the problem on terror by growing the economy to uplift the lives of the people and enhance the delivery of vital social services.

Bunye was reacting to an observation by Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno that "poverty as a contributing factor to terrorism must be addressed" because "in poor countries, it is poverty that truly terrorizes people…because of empty stomachs and not due to some invisible suicide bombers."

"We appreciate the views of Supreme Court Chief Justice Puno and wholeheartedly agree that poverty as a contributing factor to terrorism must be addressed," Bunye said in a statement.

"It is in this light that the administration is focused on a stronger economy and social payback through improved services," he added.

At the same time, Bunye said the government would deal with terrorism and terror acts with "iron-clad will that honors and thrives on the spirit and boundaries of our laws."

The Press Secretary stressed that the government would not tolerate the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to take "legal shortcuts" in the pursuit of this objective.

Bunye asked the people to report human rights violations to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and "help realize our aspiration for a peaceful, orderly, just and progressive country."

Puno, in his speech during the commencement exercises of the University of the East last week, noted that "countries that cannot give decent life to their young people will serve as incubators of extremism that may end up in terrorism."

Bunye said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself has acknowledged the fact that one of the root causes of insurgency and terrorism is poverty.

Thus, the President has remained focused on growing the economy further by attracting more investments to create more new jobs and raise the needed funds to enhance the delivery of health, education, housing, food, infrastructure and other social services to the people. (OPS) [top]

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