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PIA Press Release

GMA: Gov't committed to end Mindanao conflict

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (19 April) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said her administration is committed in ending the armed conflict in Mindanao and will remain dedicated in reducing or eliminating the main conditions that breed conflict in the future.

The government is committed in building an enduring peace in Mindanao within the framework of the Constitution. Such peace can be obtained and preserved through political solution.

Government peace negotiator Secretary Jesus Dureza said the administration of President Arroyo will not allow terrorist attacks to go unpunished and will not tolerate enclaves of terrorism to exist within the country's territory.

The President, Secretary Dureza said, is committed to make a headway in the policy framework of Mindanao to end this conflict as the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has called for a ceasefire between the government forces and fighters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Sulu.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process, headed by Secretary Dureza has acknowledged the call of the OIC as the Philippine government also called on the leadership of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to take appropriate steps and deal with the criminal and violent acts perpetrated by one of its commanders, Ustadz Habier Malik.

Secretary Dureza said unless decisively addressed by the MNLF leadership, this latest incident in Sulu will pose an additional challenge in our peace agreement with the MNLF with whom the government signed a peace agreement in 1996.

Dureza said the remaining years of President Macapagal-Arroyo will be a unique opportunity for building a foundation of the government's framework of peace and development if only the MNLF will adhere to what has been agreed in the peace agreement.

The government is committed in building a real peace in Mindanao. Such peace can be obtained with a unity and understanding between the two panels: the Philippine government and the MNLF. (PIA) [top]

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