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PIA Press Release
2009/02/17

Gov't committed to achieving genuine and lasting peace in Mindanao, OPAPP chief says

Tacloban City (February 17) -- The government is committed to work hard towards achieving genuine and lasting peace in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino Razon, Jr. underscored.

Secretary Razon said the peace process spearheaded by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) has "achieved many milestone in this endeavor and as eager as all of you to move the peace process forward not only for the sake of our brothers in Mindanao, but for the entire country as well."

Secretary Razon said that the government is implementing its projects for peace such as construction of roads, bridges, school buildings, irrigation and health centers, among others, particularly in conflict-affected areas.

onsultations with local stakeholders will continue to be intensified to give them the latest updates on what is going on in the peace process, specifically during the formal talks, Secretary Razon said.

The government will also intensify its social integration program (SIP) to ensure that former rebels will be given livelihood to become good citizens, he added.

Believing that there is no problem that cannot be threshed out, the OPAP chief expressed optimism that the government will soon resume the stalled peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The pronouncement is Secretary Razon's reaction to the MILF deputy information chief Khaled Musa's statement that peace negotiations with the government will not likely take place soon.

Saying the differences between the two sides can be worked out, Secretary Razon said that he remains optimistic of the resumption of the peace negotiations because the government is determined to hasten the peace process for the sake of the people in Mindanao.

"We will hasten the peace process because for as long as the peace talks are stalled, our countrymen, especially in Mindanao in insurgency-affected areas continue to suffer," Razon said.

Secretary Razon said that with determination, perseverance and creativeness between the parties concerned "by exploring all possibilities to end the twin insurgencies hounding our nation there is no reason why we cannot solve our differences at the conference table and sign a peace agreement."

"Every step we take towards peace even how small it may be, is always a step forward to the attainment of a lasting peace in our country," he added. (PIA 8) [top]

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