Legarda hails Suu Kyi's release from detention

November 15, 2010 3:26 am 

MANILA, Nov. 14 – Senator Loren Legarda on Sunday joined the world in praising the release of Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

“Her hard-fought freedom must be celebrated as a victory for democracy, whose ideals she has bravely championed and for whom she has gained the admiration and respect of all peace-loving nations,” Legarda, chairperson of the Senate committee on foreign relations, said in a press statement.

Myanmar, which is under military rule since 1962, freed Suu Kyi, 65, last Saturday after being detained for 15 years.

“It is hoped that her release brings with it all recognized rights of persons in liberty – the freedom to engage in her work to strengthen political institutions in her country,” Legarda said.

Legarda said Suu Kyi should serve as inspiration for the Philippines to continue in the country’s pursuit for meaningful development in the face of many challenges.

“Flaws noted by international observers in Myanmar’s recent election may perhaps rouse us that we all need to do our part in helping nations become practicing democracies – the kind that works better for development. “

Legarda joined world leaders like President Benigno Aquino III, US president Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in hailing the release of Suu Kyi.

President Aquino welcomed the release of Suu Kyi, Nobel laureate, as a positive direction towards Myanmar’s path towards democracy.

”I welcome the decision of Myanmar's government to release Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday. While it is still unclear if there are conditions attached to her release, this is a positive step in the direction towards democracy,” the President said in his statement.

Although Suu Kyi was released, the President said other political prisoners had not been freed and the Nov. 7 elections in Myanmar “has not been viewed as credible.”

”In the interest of its people and the region's long-term stability, I encourage Myanmar's government to build upon the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and take concrete steps towards a more open and fair system, efforts which will be surely welcomed by the rest of the international community,” the President said. (PNA) RMA/jfm

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