PRESS STATEMENT

In support of the President’s continuing efforts for the upliftment of Mindanao by

DEPUTY SPEAKER PANGALIAN M. BALINDONG

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AUGUST 10, 2013. As we Muslim brothers all over the world, and especially here in our country, mark the end of Ramadan by thanksgiving and celebration, it is but fitting to thank Allah Subhanaho wa ta’ala for the help and strength He has given us throughout the holy month, and imbue in us a greater acknowledgment of the need for forgiveness, self-discipline, selfrestraint, and generosity. Above all, we must thank Allah that this is the time we have most awaited, when we can already see and feel that our leaders and our people are on the verge of having peace, largely through the cooperation of our muslim leaders and government officials. There is no other man to thank for this realization of our decades-old dream of self-governance and equality in government, but our President, His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III. His utter persistence and leadership to continue until its successful finale the creation of the Bangsamoro, even in the face of dissension and disagreement of some of his colleagues and advisers, and also among our own Muslim leaders, is the mark of his loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines, as he knows that there is no other way to peace, than the gift of peace itself, equally, without fear or favor, to his muslim brothers, citizens of the same government and country as himself. It has not been easy; for him, and for us who espouse the ideals of true democracy within our land. For there will always be those who oppose for their own selfish interests. That is why we should rally behind our President, so that he can feel our unity and strength, that we are ready, willing and able to give of ourselves for the sake of our beloved Philippines. That we are solidly behind his ideals, and his vision of a great and magnificent Philippines, which can only happen from the united efforts of its people. On a personal note, I thank you, Mr, President, for all that you have done and are continually doing for the sake of Mindanao, and for us, your Muslim brothers, for you have recognized the justness of the Muslim cause. That we today have a leader who has shown the world that peace can be achieved with a pure heart and good intentions, is something that comes only once in a lifetime, or several lifetimes, if we think about it. Therefore, let us not waste this golden opportunity that shall bring us all Filipinos, Muslims and Non-Muslims, to our most cherished right, the right to live in peace and harmony for the greater end of equality, and prosperity for all.

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