Transparent, all-inclusive approach key to peace in Mindanao – Aquino

Liberal Party standard bearer Noynoy Aquino said Wednesday that a transparent, all-inclusive approach is the key to sustainable and long-lasting peace in Mindanao.

“We have seen how the tayo-tayo, kami-kami approach of this government has been rejected by the people. It has also resulted in renewed fighting in Mindanao that has displaced thousands from their homes and cause the loss of so many lives,” he said Cotabato City.

The 50-year old senator from Tarlac said it was unlikely that a final peace settlement can be achieved in the remaining days of the Arroyo administration, noting that the latest informal meeting in Kuala Lumpur between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) ended in a deadlock.

Aquino said he would initiate peace talks with all rebel groups within 100 days of his administration, and work for a comprehensive settlement with the MILF and the CCP-NPA-NDF during his six-year term.

”It is time to end the cycle of violence that has bled our country and people for so long,” he said. “Only a broadly-supported agreement will succeed in redressing decades of neglect and oppression of the Moro and other peoples of Mindanao,” he said.

Aquino pointed to the peace dividends that boosted the growth of Davao, General Santos, and Cagayan de Oro cities in the aftermath of the peace settlement with the Moro National Liberation Front during the administration of President Fidel Ramos.

He expressed confidence that the second wave of development resulting from a peace agreement will boost growth in the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Zamboanga, and Pagadian.

Aquino also decried the appointment of former peace adviser Jesus Dureza as chair of the newly-established Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

“Dureza was one of the architects of the failed MOA-AD. This president has rewarded people loyal to her at the expense of national interest,” he said.#