Saturday, April 27, 2013

Villar hails gov’t-MILF agreement for clean, orderly polls in Mindanao

Cynthia Villar
Cynthia Villar
Nacionalista Party-Team Pnoy senatorial candidate and former Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar today hailed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to ensure clean, honest, and peaceful midterm elections.

She said it was a positive indication that peace and political stability was forthcoming in Mindanao.
This is a giant step in our efforts to pursue a just and lasting settlement to end the age-old conflict in Mindanao,” said Villar. “As I would always say, the Nacionalista Party (NP) is one with the Filipino nation in harnessing the spirit and essence of people power in support of peace and development initiatives for Southern Philippines,” she added.
Saying that Mindanao would be one of her priority areas for her development programs if elected to the Senate, Villar said she was elated that the MILF and government have agreed to ensure coordination of the movements and deployment of election personnel and equipment and personnel of the Armed Forces Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP), as deputized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), in polling centers within the MILF-dominated areas.

Media reports said the Philippine government and the MILF agreed to establish a Joint Ceasefire Monitoring Post as quick response team for any violation of the MOU. The MILF also committed to refrain from consolidating its forces from the time precinct count optical scan or PCOS machines are deployed and until election has been completed.

“The holding of peaceful, orderly and credible elections in Mindanao will serve as big boost in our efforts to pursue a lasting peace agreement in Mindanao that would eventually pave the way for massive development projects in the area,” Villar said.

“It will show that diverse ethnic and religious groups in Mindanao need not settled their differences through the barrel of the gun but through peaceful means of elections,” Villar said. “We are about to witness the resurgence of a revitalized democracy in Mindanao.”

Earlier, Villar said the NP was throwing its full support behind the current peace process between the government and the MILF following the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) last year.

Known as “Misis Hanepbuhay,” Villar described as a “major leap for peace” the presidential appointment of 15 members to the Transition Commission (TransCom) earlier this month that would help draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law as a vital step towards obtaining lasting peace in Mindanao.

Villar said she will support the transformation of conflict-affected areas in Muslim Mindanao into havens of peace and development as a major thrust of the Aquino administration.

Villar said that the Villar Foundation is willing to work with other NGOs and LGUs in promoting various livelihood projects in Mindanao. “We all have to pitch in and accompany the peace process to its rightful conclusion because a peaceful and stable Mindanao has much to offer not just our country but the world,” Villar stressed.

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