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PIA Press Release

Aquino vows to advance welfare of Muslim Filipinos

Manila (15 September) -- President Benigno Aquino III assured Muslim communities that his administration will work doubly hard to advance the welfare, aspirations and interest of Muslim Filipinos by supporting and strengthening the autonomous region in Southern Philippines.

In his remarks at the Hariraya dinner held at Malacanang's Rizal Hall on Monday, the Chief Executive thanked the envoys from different Muslim nations and local Muslim leaders for attending the Hariraya dinner celebration he hosted for them in the spirit of solidarity, celebration, obedience and devotion.

The President told them that his administration is committed to end decades of government neglect that has afflicted Muslim Filipinos.

"We will do better. Muslim Filipinos are part of our nation," he stressed.

He assured them that the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos will be strengthened and will serve as the government's principal arm in advancing the rights, welfare and aspirations of Muslim Filipinos.

"We will support and strengthen the autonomous regional government. It will be our lead government instrumentality in advancing the welfare of the inhabitants of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao," he said.

According to the President, he has already appointed Luwalhati Antonino as chairperson of the Mindanao Development Authority "who will kindle and lead the conversation among Christians, Muslims and Lumads for their inclusive and integrative development."

The President likewise vowed to resume the stalled peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

With the Moro National Liberation Front, "we are about to complete the legal bond to rectify imperfections in the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement," he said. (PCOO thru PIA 3) [top]

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