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PIA Press Release

New OPAPP Secretary: Creating animosity and un-peace hurts a generation

Manila (24 October) -- Prof. Annabelle Abaya, new OPAPP Secretary as appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, believes that creating animosity and un-peace hurts a generation.

Commenting on the statement of former President Joseph Estrada that he would wage an all-out war with the rebels, Abaya said: "we have to get out of this macho thing…you are not just killing one another, but affect a lot of people… Hindi pwedeng ubusan…our history is all about talking things over and I hope thru it we will find peace."

During a press conference with Malacanang reporters, Abaya said that "my job is to hold the fort during the political fever," apparently referring to the upcoming presidential elections in May next year.

Abaya said her marching order from the President is to "do what we can in the next eight months and prepare transition program for the new President…resumption of government talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and National Democratic Front (NDF)."

At the same time, Abaya said the government will also look at reviewing the 1996 peace pact with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) "to strengthen it."

She made it clear that the government wants peace, saying "we will work on it and let us surprise you when there are developments…the important thing is we are talking."

Abaya replaced OPAPP chief Avelino I. Razon Jr. who resigned to run for mayor in Manila in next year's election.

Prior to the appointment of Abaya, Undersecretary Nabil A. Tan was officer-in-charge of OPAPP.

Abaya's appointment was announced by Press Secretary Cerge Remonde during a press briefing in Malacanang this afternoon.

As the new presidential peace adviser on the peace process, Abaya holds a cabinet rank position.

Before assuming her new post, Abaya was a member of the government peace panel tasked to negotiate with the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army/National Democratic Front (NDF) headed by former Labor Secretary Nieves R. Confesor. (PIA-Samar/OPAPP) [top]

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