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PIA Press Release

ARMM Gov assures support to NGO's initiatives for Maguindanao communities

Koronadal City (5 June) -- ARMM Regional Government reassured Wednesday its all-out support to grassroots-led non-government organizations in Mindanao for any peace initiatives in conflict-affected communities in the autonomous region, particularly in Maguindanao.

In a meeting at the Office of the Regional Governor (ORG) here, the Bantay Ceasefire, a ceasefire monitoring arm of the Mindanao Peoples' Caucus (MPC), appealed support from the ARMM regional government to intensify promotion of peace and development, not only in Maguindanao, but in the entire autonomous region.

The group will start today their week-long accompaniment program with the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maguindanao, particularly in the town of Datu Piang. Forty representatives from various organizations working for peace in Mindanao will participate the activity.

Mr. Yul Olaya, Bantay Ceasefire Coordinator, underlined that their obejctives are to gather stakeholders all over the region and execute tangible designs to improve the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maguindanao, more particularly in Datu Piang town.

"We wanted to immerse ourselves with the evacuees. That's why we're here not only to glimpse the plight of these people, but to hear their voices. And we believe that no single organization could wholly respond to the complete needs of IDPs, the intervention of the ARMM regional government is crucial," he stressed.

Mr. Timuay Milaneo Ulama, co-chair of MPC, further said that the group also seeks support from local government units, the military, relief and humanitarian organizations and the negotiating panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) citing their continuous advocacy to the resumption of peacetalks.

Executive Director Diamadel Dumagay of Regional Planning and Development Office (RPDO) reiterated the policy statement of ARMM Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan on the continuing conflict between the MILF and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP).

"The ARMM regional leadership persistently urges the government and the MILF to take necessary steps to bring peace process back to the negotiating table. We believe that continuing conflict defy economic development in the region," Dumagay said.

ARMM Governor Ampatuan firmly pointed up his full support to the GRP-MILF peacetalks thus hail any initiatives of non-government organizations in the country as well as foreign interventions to help efficiently respond the needs of IDPs in the autonomous region.

Dumagay further said, "Anyone in the autonomous region wanted to live in a peaceful environment that's why the Regional Governor felt that the more delay of peace to come, the more suffering of the people. Governor Ampatuan assures you that the ARMM regional government will support and work together to address the needs of IDPs in the region."

The peace advocates were received at the ORG by Dumagay, Technical Management Services Director Ramil Masukat, Bureau of Public Information Director Samson Gogo and other ARMM officials. (BPI-ARMM/PIA 12) [top]

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