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PIA Press Release

Sen. Revilla calls for end to Mindanao conflict

By Franklin P. Gumapon

Dipolog City (29 August) -- Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. has called on the participants to the 17th Mindanao Business Conference (MinBizCon) to help address the peace and order problem in Mindanao.

Speaking before MinBizCon delegates in a dinner tendered by the city government of Dipolog led by Mayor Evelyn T. Uy at the Top Plaza Hotel here, Senator Revilla said Mindanao's development has been hampered by the age-long problem of peace and order.

Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. is presented a token by the city government officials led by Mayor Evelyn T. Uy (4th from left) who is flanked by Councilors Kenny Ong, Peter Co, Horacio Velasco, Romulo Soliva and Marvelita Pinsoy. (PIA 9)

Revilla rued that despite Mindanao's natural riches, 36 percent of the nation's poor are in Mindanao. He said Mindanao's potentials are not fully harnessed due to "the underlying currents and age-long obstacles," which make "the situation in the area very volatile."

The senator also reminded that Muslims and Christians in the Philippines are all Filipinos, having the same race and blood.

"If we are to find peace, everyone must be serious in their commitment to peace. Everyone must be asked to participate actively so that efforts are acceptable to all concerned," Revilla stressed.

He further suggested that all negotiations with the MILF "must be put on hold until all parties come to the negotiating table with clean hands, as the road to peace should be paved with truthfulness and sincerity."

The senator also urged the MILF to "surrender those responsible for the recent atrocities in Mindanao so that the talks can proceed."

Two weeks ago the MILF rebels stormed the municipalities of Linamon, Kauswagan and Kilambugan in Lanao del Norte and Maasin, Sarangani province, killing innocent civilians, and burning residential houses, schools and establishments.

The perpetrators were rebels belong to MILF's 102nd, 103r and 105th base commands. (PIA-ZN) [top]

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