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PIA Press Release

PGMA stresses interfaith dialogues to bring back broken relationships

ICC Iligan City (14 November) -- Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has called on the people of Lanao del Norte to promote and embrace the power of dialogue for peace so the country can move forward.

The President sounded the call when she visited, Nov. 14, her ancestral home in Sitio Timoga, Barangay Buruun, this city, even as she thanked the local leaders headed by City Mayor Lawrence Lluch Cruz for their efforts resulting in the Supreme Court's decision to declare the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) illegal and unconstitutional.

Fresh from her trip to the United States where she addressed the UN General Assembly on the Promotion of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, the President arrived in the city amidst morning rains brought about by Tropical Depression "Tonyo."

Stressing the need to adopt a new paradigm in the peace process, the President said in order for the country to move forward and before negotiations with any rebel group could take place, we must have authentic dialogues with the communities which could be facilitated through the conduct interfaith groups.

"Interfaith dialogue is very important for the people and the format we are going to adopt is the Bishop and Ulama Conference (BUC) which is a movement of Christian Bishops and the Muslim Ulamas organized to promote mutual understanding of faiths and religious for peace.

The different church leaders at the BUC preach love and peace and so far the result of their movement is good. "So, I am calling on its leaders and other third party organizations to provide inputs in our road map for peace under this new paradigm," the President also said.

Meanwhile, the President, as the Commander-in-Chief, has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to continue their law enforcement operations to capture the lawless MILF group (LMG) leader Bravo and his men.

The LMG should be made to answer for the atrocities they have committed last Aug. 18 in the towns of Kauswagan and Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte and so far, our government forces have made positive results by making sure the LMG will not be able to do the atrocities again, Pres. Arroyo added. (RCA/PIA 10) [top]

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