FEB.

23, 2013

NR # 3024

Pnoy on the right path towards peace in Mindanao: Belmonte
“Filipino people should unite behind the government’s quest for lasting peace in Mindanao which ensures the realization of its economic development and consequently that of the entire country,” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. today said. “When we speak of a lasting peace we refer not just to the absence of war but to the presence of sustained economic development that is able to win our battle against poverty,” Belmonte said, adding that President Aquino is exerting all efforts in this regard and is “moving on the right path towards this peace we seek.” The House Speaker was citing the latest move of President Aquino to create the Task Force on Bangsamoro Development to be headed by Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras as Chairman. The members of the Bangsamoro development body include 15 members of the President’s Cabinet to make sure that the development programs are properly implemented in the rebel communities. The creation of the task force last February 13 came following the recent launching in Sultan Kudarat of a socio-economic program for Moro rebels where the President handed out health insurance cards and certificates of scholarships and livelihood training to MILF members. “I am confident that peace will prevail in the end. It could seem like a bumpy road to pursue at first but it is definitely not impossible to attain,” the Speaker said as he likewise expressed confidence in the sincerity of both the Malaysian and Philippine governments in resolving the Sabah incident without bloodshed. (30) dpt