Commentary: P500-B rebel returnee fund for lasting peace
Tacloban City (September 5) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's allocation of P500 billion as initial fund for the processing of amnesty applications and as seed capital for livelihood projects for the communist rebels who return to the folds of the law, is a tangible manifestation of the Arroyo Administration's sincere desire to fast track the attainment of lasting peace and security in the Regions of the country.
The setting up of the rebel returnees fund was disclosed by President Arroyo during the National Security Council-Cabinet Group meeting in Malacanang on September 4.
Saying that the last few months saw a series of significant developments in the country, notably the 7.5 percent second quarter 2007 growth of the economy which is the strongest in 20 years, the President enumerated three things that she said the country needs to maintain and even improve on the gains already achieved: economic reform, peace and a stable political climate.
These are economic reforms, peace in the country and political stability that will promote government, business and world investments for the Filipino nation, the President said as she called on all Filipinos to unite in order to sustain the economic growth and to achieve the prosperity and development that are being enjoyed by the neighboring countries.
Peace and stability of the country are very important to make the investors feel secure so that they will invest more capital and create more jobs.
She said that the reason why she called to meeting the leagues of local governments and several religious leaders is to launch the plan for peace initiatives in the different regions of the country.
Included in the peace plan is the amnesty and livelihood program for the rebels who desire to return to the folds of the law.
With the help of the local and religious leaders and with the entire bureaucracy, the P500 billion initial fund will hopefully fast track the sowing of lasting peace and security in all the various Regions of the country. (PIA 8) [top]