Mindanao peace mechanisms in place for next RP leaders
Manila (25 May) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's peace initiatives in Mindanao have paid off and mechanisms are in place for the next administration to build upon the gains to sustain peace and development in the region, Secretary Jesus Dureza, chairman of the newly-created Mindanao Development Authority (MDA) said on Monday during a media briefing in Malacanang.
Dureza added that the ceasefire between government forces and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been holding and has contributed to the right atmosphere necessary for the peace negotiations.
Meanwhile, Dureza said the President has tasked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to continue helping some 80,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) temporarily housed in the 56 evacuation centers mostly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Dureza said a number of humanitarian institutions, foreign and international entities and even the MILF are actively helping government efforts to restore normalcy in the lives of these IDPs.
As it is now, Dureza said the worst is over in the peace problem in Mindanao, although there is still much to be done to fully develop and sustain peace there.
Amid this period of what he calls as one of "guarded optimism" among Mindanaoans, Dureza said they have come up with a Mindanao 2020 Plan which is a product of dialogues, consultations and groups discussions from among all sectors in Mindanao. (PIA-Bohol) [top]