Hard and soft approach to peace – PGMA

March 1, 2010 11:58 pm 

BAGUIO CITY, March 1 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today called on newly-inducted military officers — the 226 graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) — to sustain her two-pronged approach to restore lasting peace in strife-torn Mindanao and other insurgency-affected areas.

Speaking at the 105th graduation ceremonies at the PMA, the President said a combination of military action and development tools, especially in Mindanao, has stabilized the region and ushered in economic development

“I trust that you, young officers of our Armed Forces, will apply the same hard and soft approach to achieve lasting peace in Mindanao and other insurgency affected areas,” said the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

The Chief Executive explained that development tools refer to roads, bridges, schools, ports and infrastructure projects which have been the focus of her Super Region visits over the past five weeks.

The President said that while lasting peace has yet to be achieved in Mindanao, her government is working hard, at heavy political risks, to broker peace.

“We have reached within the affected communities to change the peace paradigm,” she said, citing specifically the help many countries are extending to enhance the ongoing talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“We have brought together an amazing international consensus to aid the process from outside. Japan, Australia, the US, the United Kingdom, the Organization of Islamic Conference nations and Malaysia and so many others now have vested interest in peace in Mindanao,“ she stressed.

On the issue of terrorism, the President said the government has been successful. “We have narrowed down the lair of hardcore terrorists in the South and continue to limit and confine the communist insurgency which is sputtering on empty fumes.”

“As a result of all these, the people are safer now, ” she said as she expressed gratitude to the troops. (PNA)

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