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Home Community RP Government Updates PGMA Orders AFP, PNP to Pursue Relentless Operations Against Rogue MILF Elements
PGMA Orders AFP, PNP to Pursue Relentless Operations Against Rogue MILF Elements PDF Print E-mail
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Communities - RP Government Updates
Tuesday, 26 August 2008 15:12

As fighting between the military and rogue elements of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continues, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered last night military and police forces to conduct full, vigorous and unrelenting, pursuit operations against the so-called lost commands of the MILF.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, in his weekly press briefing in Malacanang this afternoon, said the President issued the marching order during the National Security Cluster-Cabinet Meeting held in Malacanang last night.

 

This instruction bolsters an earlier directive from the President for government forces to take back every inch of territory from these marauders at all costs, prevent their re-occupation, and to ensure that peace, order and security are restored,? Ermita said.

The Executive Secretary stressed that the President will suspend military operations against rogue elements, if and only when MILF commanders Ombra Kato and Bravo, as well as other commanders with them are neutralized and their hostages released.

At the same time, the President instructed the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Health (DOH), Education (DepEd), Local Government (DILG) and Defense (DND) and other agencies to undertake relief and rehabilitation activities as well as assist the local government units concerned to bring back to normalcy the lives of the people in the affected areas soonest possible time.

 

The President also warned other armed groups “not to take advantage” of the volatile situation in Mindanao to sow further violence and destabilize the area.

 

In such occurrences, government armed forces will not hesitate to act in a manner that is most appropriate and swift to contain these groups, Ermita quoted the President as saying.

 

Ermita said that the President also welcomed the call made by Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Leila de Lima for the MILF to surrender Commanders Bravo and Ombra Kato under the principle of command responsibility.

 

The CHR also said it will file formal complaints against the MILF leadership.

Ermita said the President supports the CHR’s reminder to the government forces on the ground to be always conscious of their responsibilities, and observe strictly human rights amid the on-going hostilities.

 

The President vows and is confident that with the right purpose, frame of mind, and the continuing guidance from the Almighty, we shall prevail, Ermita said.

 

The Press Secretary said the President was angered and deeply frustrated by the treacherous acts of the MILF.

 

The President detests the lack of control of the MILF leadership over their base commands, particularly in Lanao del Norte, where thousands of civilians were displaced from their communities in the wake of the MILF rampage, Ermita said.

 

He said the lack of determined control? of the MILF commanders over their forces on the ground only reflects the lack of sincerity on their part to push for a successful conclusion of the peace process.

 

“The President, being a mother and a wife, deeply feels for our people, especially the parents who are with their suffering children in evacuation centers and in need of continuing medical intervention and food assistance, and for the grieving husbands and wives who stand helpless as they see their loved ones in extreme pain or in the throes of dealth,” Ermita said.

 

* * * * *

 

Joint Press Communiqué on the occasion of the Official Visit of His Highness Sheikh NasserAl-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, to the Republic of the Philippines from 14-16 August 2008

 

Upon the kind invitation of Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,President of the Republic of the Philippines, and within the frameof friendship and cooperation between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of the Philippines, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, paid an official visit to the Republic of the Philippines from 14 to 16 August 2008, heading a high level delegation.

 

The Republic of the Philippines gave special importance to the visit of H.H. the Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, emphasizing that it represented a valuable opportunity to strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

 

During the visit, formal discussions were held between the two countries, in which H.H. Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, presided over the Kuwaiti side, and H.E. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, presided over the Philippine side.

 

The two sides reviewed all aspects of Philippine-Kuwait bilateral relations expressing their satisfaction with the state of those relations, and affirmed their determination to further develop them for the mutual benefit and prosperity of both friendly peoples and nations.

 

In respect of the development and growth of economic relations, the two countries agreed to open new horizons for cooperation between them that would increase investments and promote commercial exchange. They discussed ways to promote cooperation in all fields, especially economic ones, noting that it is in their common interest to establish multi-leveled relations. The importance of cooperation in the development of the gas and oil sector was underscored.

 

Kuwait presented its vision concerning the acceleration of the development process in light of the active economic movement in the region,which presents an opportunity for friends to work and participate in developmental activities. Kuwait has developed rules and regulations that would give advantages to foreign investment, and has amended its taxation laws to greatly assist the participation of foreign investors.

 

The Philippines acknowledged the important role played by foreign investment and invited Kuwaiti investors to consider specific investment opportunities in the Philippines.

The Philippines expressed its appreciation for the kind assistance extended by Kuwait over the years. It welcomed the interest of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) in revitalizing its engagement with the Philippines.

 

The Philippines also welcomed Kuwait’s prospective participation in the 2nd Global Forum on Migration and Development, to be held in Manila in October 2008. Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the Philippines-Kuwait MOU on Labor and Manpower Development. The issue of Filipino workers in Kuwait was also discussed. In this regard, the Philippine side expressed its appreciation to the Government of Kuwait for looking into specific cases of Filipino workers.

 

On international affairs, the two sides shared the view that the stability of the world oil market is vital for the sustained growth of the world economy. In this regard, the significant efforts of Kuwait to assure continued oil supplies were appreciated. The two sides also exchanged views on current international political issues of interest to their countries.

 

The discussions took place in a cordial, constructive and cooperative spirit, reflective of the close ties binding the two friendly nations. Both sides stressed the importance of continuing such meetings.

 

The Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait and the President of the Republic of the Philippines welcomed the conclusion of bilateral agreements on oil & gas, tourism and health, and expressed their resolve to consider entering into, at the earliest possible time, agreements on taxation and on transfer of sentenced persons.

 

H.H. Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Prime Minister of the State of Kuwait, expressed his appreciation for the hospitality and warm reception accorded to him and his delegation, and conveyed a formal invitation of H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jabir Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, to Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, to visit Kuwait.

 

* * * * *

 

PGMA Bares Shift in Premise of Government Peace Efforts.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced today a shift in the basic premise of the government’s peace efforts from talking with the armed groups to holding discussions with the communities in the conflict areas.

 

The President made the announcement in her message at the opening of the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

 

“The focus of our talks shall shift from the armed groups to the communities. The parameters governing our negotiations shall be a balance between the constitutionality and public sentiment,” the President said, as she pointed out that in order to promote the growth of industries and most especially the best interest of the people, government must maintain a peaceful and orderly society.

 

She said the change in the government’s approach to end the Mindanao conflict prompted by the atrocities committed recently by forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in North Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Sarangani and Maguindanao.

 

MILF forces went on a rampage during the last two weeks killing more than 40 civilians, including women, children and the elderly and burning houses and looting properties.

 

The President explained that the government’s objective is to end all armed rebellion in the country, thus any engagement with all armed groups from here on in will focus on disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation (DDR). “DDR is about the people and government telling armed groups to give up armed struggle. Change shall be defined primarily by the people and the government,” she said.

 

The shift in the government’s approach to ending conflicts underscores its rejection of any armed struggle as a means of achieving political and social change and a reaffirmation of its commitment to democracy.

 

“From negotiations, our focus shall shift to dialogues with the communities, or government conducting authentic conversations or dialogues with the people,” she said.

The President reiterated that all armed groups must account for their actions not only to the government but more importantly to the people. “The force of arms does not entitle any armed group to represent the people,” she stressed.

 

* * * * *

 

BSP chief forecasts sustained growth in ‘09

 

MANILA, Aug. 21 (PNA) – Growth of the local economy is seen to continue in 2009 amid the current tight economic condition that results from the development in the global economy.

 

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. reiterated their projection of a lower inflation next year but along with this is sustained growth for the country.

 

“Inflation has an impact but there will be an improvement next year,” he told reporters. Inflation continued to surge with the July figure already at 12.2 percent, from the previous month’s 11.4 percent.

 

Monetary officials forecast inflation to peak this October before going down before the year ends.

 

The double-digit rate of price increases is seen to last until the first three months of next year.

 

Tetangco explained that slowdown of the economy was a result of surging inflation.

He, however, said that this inflation is imported in origin because its real cause is the increase in prices of oil in the world market.

 

He said that in the domestic front demand remained high although the higher inflation will have an impact in terms of a decrease in purchases of consumers.

 

“That’s why we have always emphasized that it’s important to maintain price stability, which is important in long-term economic stability,” he stressed.

 

Aside from the impact of higher oil prices, the BSP chief said the slowdown of the country’s major trading partners also plays a big role in the growth prospect of the local economy.

 

Tetangco, who met with a team from the Japan Credit Rating Agency (JCRA) Wednesday, said this was what he explained to the JCRA team when asked about the impact of the US slowdown to the country and the higher inflation to economic growth. He said that although the region is now less dependent on the US as a trading partner, it is still affected because there is no total decoupling.

 

He said that although there is higher trade exchange among Asian countries particularly because raw materials are processed in some countries, here, these products still end in the US market.

 

“We still will be affected but the impact will be less than it could have been several years ago,” he pointed out. On inflation, Tetangco assured the JCRA team that BSP officials were “prudent” in addressing the increase in inflation, which he said was supply-driven.

He said they first observed if the situation will spill-over the demand side and when it did monetary officials acted immediately by increasing policy rates accordingly.

 

BSP has raised its policy rates by a total of 75 basis points since last June. To date, its borrowing rate is at 5.75 percent while lending rate is at 7.75 percent.

 

* * * * *

 

Statement of Deputy Spokesperson Relly Fajardo on the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD)


 

The President is committed to peace. The present situation attending the circumstances in Mindanao leaves us no choice but to review and revisit the provisions contained in the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

 

This is a necessary step in our collective effort to attain peace.

 

The administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo upholds greater public interest.

She is committed to upholding the Constitution and, thus, will seek peace within the boundaries of law set within the Constitution.

 

Furthermore, the President will not allow adventurism by MILF forces to pressure government to sign any agreement even if it is for peace.

 

We will work together with our partners in government. The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) will provide the venue for exhaustive discussion and agreement on how we will go forward with the President’s commitment to forge a lasting peace agreement with the MILF.

 

The local governments will continue to have a venue to participate and express their position on the issue.

As President Manuel Quezon once said, “We are a nation. Unity is the requisite of our strength, peace and comfort.”

 

We must unite and work together if we are to attain peace and prosperity not only for Mindanao but for all Filipinos.

 

We are committed to peace and we will move forward to find that peace!

 

 

Released by the Philippine Consulate General

3600 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 500

Los Angeles, CA 90010

Tel. (213) 639-0980

Fax (213) 639-0990

Website: www.philippineconsulatela.org

 



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2008 15:35
 

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