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PIA Press Release
2007/09/19

Abide by courts' decision on matters of dispute – PGMA

Legazpi City (19 September) -- "We live by the rule of law. We abide by what the courts of the land decide."

Thus stressed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as she addressed the Bishop-Ulama Conference (BUC) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP)–Philippine National Police (PNP) Peace Forum held in Malacañang last week.

In her speech before the peace-making group, President Arroyo said "we must be a government that honors contracts and agreements that go through the required processes despite media attacks."

Saying she is "bound and determined to captain a steady ship," President Arroyo pointed out, that the government must abide by what the courts of the land decide on matters of dispute.

She hailed the BUC and dubbed it "the bastion of collective faith in our nation." This, because "in Mindanao, we have been able to mold together confidence-building measures grounded on strong interfaith dialogue under the leadership of the Bishop-Ulama Conference."

President Arroyo credited the BUC for the peace agreement that the government is about to have with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) saying she remains optimistic that the country can overcome the final barriers on ancestral domain that can give finality to the peace.

She also lauded the AFP and the PNP as "representing our fighting faith in the war between good and evil."

Thanking the BUC-AFP-PNP for the peace covenant that was presented to her by Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, President Arroyo promised to "transform (the covenant) into action, on the premise that peace and development are twinned – one cannot exist for long without the other."

President Arroyo said her administration has "stayed focused on what the Filipinos yearn for most" as she noted that Filipinos are now "tired of political drama and social instability."

At the forum, President Arroyo also announced that she has created a Procurement Transparency Board (PTB) under the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB), and a Pro-Performance Infrastructure Monitoring Group (PIMG).

President Arroyo said the formation of the PTB – which was approved by the Cabinet Tuesday last week – shall "ensure transparency and good governance in our massive public investments."

She stressed that the transparency group shall "monitor procurement bidding and report anomalies to agency heads as well as governance bodies like the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit."

President Arroyo added that the Cabinet also approved the creation of a separate infra monitoring group, the PIMG "which shall also harness civil society and the private sector in ensuring that public works projects serve the needs and objectives for which they are undertaken, and contract terms and timetables are complied with." (PIA 5) [top]

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