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Home Community RP Government Updates RP Government to Conduct Dialogue with Communities in Mindanao
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Communities - RP Government Updates
Tuesday, 26 August 2008 15:26

Philippine Government to Conduct Dialogue with Communities in Mindanao, Instead of Talking with Armed Groups

 

PGMA’s Speech during the Opening of the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) at the World Trade Center, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City, on August 21, 2008

 

Environment

 

“And we want all of these for many reasons: for one, this is part of our Green Philippines Program, wherein we want an energy efficient nation, free from reliance on costly and exhaust-spewing cars as well as smokestacks. Renewable energy is a very big help in our Green Philippines Program. So that is why we are waiting for the hybrid to become bigger in our automotive industry.”

 

“The search for cheaper and cleaner fuel has become a necessity not only because we want cleaner motoring but also in the light of the worsening global environment, environment both in terms of the ecology and the economy, and the increased pressure on economies that have little or no energy sources of their own.”

 

Governance

 

“I have mandated government agencies to lower fuel consumption in liters by 10 percent and to convert 20 percent of their vehicles in major cities to use liquid petroleum gas. So, we call on the automotive industry to respond by providing more hybrid models and more vehicles using LPG, CNG or biofuels.”

 

Peace and Order

 

“These recent developments in the South lead to a change in the basic premise of our peace efforts -- the focus of our talks shall shift from the armed groups to the communities. The parameters governing our negotiations shall be a balance between constitutionality and public sentiment.”

 

“The objective of our peace processes shall be the end of all forms of armed rebellion in the country. Translated, this shall mean a national rejection of armed struggle as a means of achieving political and societal change and re-affirming our commitment to democracy.”

 

“Our engagements with all armed groups shall be about disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation or DDR. From negotiations, our focus shall shift to dialogues with the communities, or government conducting authentic conversations or dialogues with the people. All armed groups must account for all of their actions not only to the government but most especially to the people. The force of arms does not entitle any armed group to represent the people.”

 

Full text of speech available at http://www.op.gov.ph/speeches.asp

Weekly summary of Press Releases

 

The Philippine Government will conduct dialogues with the communities in the conflict areas instead of talking with armed groups, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo announced in her message at the opening of the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

 

 

The President said that the focus of the government’s talks “shall shift from the armed groups to the communities.  The parameters governing our negotiations shall be a balance between constitutionality and public sentiment.”

 

The shift in focus was made in light of the recent atrocities committed by alleged renegade forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in North Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Sarangani and Maguindanao, which the President described as “treacherous acts”, even as Muslim leaders condemned the attacks as against the teachings of Islam.

 

According to the President, the government’s objective is to end all armed rebellion in the country, thus any engagement with armed groups from hereon will focus on disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation (DDR). 

 

The President underscored the government’s rejection of any armed struggle as a means of achieving political and social change, and reaffirmed her commitment to democracy through the shift in approach.  She also expressed her determination to make all armed groups accountable for their actions. 

 

The President had ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to hunt down the rebels responsible for the atrocities, exhorting them “to defend every inch of Philippine territory versus MILF forces”.  She also directed other concerned agencies to undertake relief and rehabilitation efforts in the affected areas.

 

The recent developments prompted the government’s decision to review its Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) with the MILF.  Press Secretary Jesus Dureza pointed out the difficulty of pursuing the signing of the accord when the MILF leadership cannot control its field commanders.

 

The Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) will provide the venue for exhaustive discussion and agreement on how the government will move forward with the peace process, according to Deputy Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo.

 

Meanwhile, the President also enlisted the support of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI) in the government’s efforts to wean the country from imported fossil fuel by promoting the use of renewable energy amid high prices of oil and a tight global economic situation.

 

In a recent Philippines Development Forum (PDF), Finance Secretary Margarito Teves assured development partners that the government is implementing measures to increase revenues and provide for necessary spending to cope with global inflation.

 

The government also continues initiatives across various sectors, such as in aquaculture and fisheries in partnership with the Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), and in education with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO-INNOTECH).

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

PGMA allays fears of gov’t launching an all-out war in Mindanao against MILF renegade groups

 

 

President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo “wishes to allay fears” of the public that an all-out war in Mindanao will be launched by the government amid calls by some sectors to do so, and that such “could be possible,” as military operations are under way in hot pursuit of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) armed groups who attacked civilians in North Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao and Sarangani provinces.

 

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, in an interview after the President signed into law today Republic Act 9505 or the Personal Equity and Retirement Account (PERA), announced the President’s “wishes” as he stressed that the peace process with the MILF will not be placed in the backburner and that military operations on-going in Mindanao will ensure that “collateral damage must be avoided.”

 

“While the government’s military and police forces are complying with the President’s directive to neutralize the two erring commanders and other recalcitrant leaders and members of the MILF at all cost, their (the military) objectives shall be for the safety and security of civilians and the immediate restoration of peace, order, and security in the affected areas,” Ermita stressed.

 

Ermita issued the statement amid reports that the President has announced in her message Thursday at the 2nd Philippine International Motor Show that the government is abandoning its efforts to negotiate peace with the MILF.

 

On Thursday, the President announced 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.

 

“It is in this light that military and police forces, as part of their pursuit operations, and representatives from the various government agencies concerned, are to touch base and work closely with local government officials and community leaders in the areas affected to ensure the delivery of social services to our people,” Ermita said.

 

“The President wishes to stress that the peace process, is not defined nor determined by armed groups alone, but by all communities and sectors concerned as it is their right as equal stakeholders in the attainment of a just and lasting peace in our country,” Ermita added.

 

The Executive Secretary stressed that in all these efforts, the President reiterates that the administration adheres to the Six Paths to peace embodied in Executive Order No. 3 series, of 2001, as her government’s peace policy major directions.

 

These include the pursuit of social, economic and political reforms that address the root causes of the armed conflict; building consensus and empowerment for peace; pursuit of a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the different armed rebel groups; establishment of programs for honorable reconciliation and reintegration into mainstream society; addressing concerns that arise out of the continuing armed hostilities; and, nurturing a positive climate for peace.

 

Ermita said the President “wishes to emphasize that rebellion does not have a place in our democracy.”

 

At the same time, Ermita said the government will continue its peace negotiations with the MILF until both the government and the MILF will be able to craft a final peace agreement in a move to attain peace in Mindanao in accordance with the Constitution and existing laws.

 

“Talks will continue and the matter of disarmament can be effectively addressed when the peace agreement will be signed,” Ermita said.

 

He explained that this was how the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were able to seal a peace pact in 1996.

 

As to the DDR or disarmament, demobilization and rehabilitation which the President mentioned yesterday, Ermita said the Chief Executive was “referring to the final phase of negotiations…how to permanently silence the guns—that’s the only way we can achieve peace…this is the reason that there must be a cessation of hostilities to create an environment for the continuation of negotiations.”

 

Ermita stressed that continuation of peace negotiations was precisely the content of the manifestation of the Solicitor-General filed with the Supreme Court---to review thoroughly the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain and pursue negotiations until a final peace pact is sealed.

 

“No, the MOA is not cancelled but there will be no signing of the MOA. It is subject for review by the Supreme Court,” Ermita stressed even as he said that the MOA is just one of the three agenda to be adhered to in crafting a final peace agreement. The other agenda are security and economic development.

 

Ermita said when peace talks resume between the government and the MILF, then the review of the MOA will take place even as he said that the MOA on ancestral domain was crafted during executive sessions not during formal talks.

 

“Let’s continue talking towards the crafting of a final peace agreement,” he stressed.

 

 

* * * * *

 


PGMA says gov't never deviates from peace process with MILF



MANILA, Aug. 22 (PNA) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Friday evening stressed the government never deviated from its peace negotiation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) even as she ordered "full, vigorous, unrelenting pursuit operation" against some of its members who attacked North Cotabato, Saranggani and Lanao del Norte provinces.


In her speech at the 20th anniversary of Toyota Motor Philippines held at the Shangrila Hotel in Makati City, the President said, "we have not deviated from the peace process."


"There is no all-out war, only all-out peace in Mindanao," she added.


President Arroyo said the ongoing military operations against renegade MILF leaders and their followers are meant to ensure the success of the peace process once fighting in Mindanao subsides and both sides agree to resume negotiations.


She said MILF commanders Ameril Ombra Kato and Abdulrahman Macapaar alias "Bravo" are "recalcitrants" who pose problems to the peace process.


The President urged the MILF leadership to turn over the two renegade commanders as a show of their sincerity to the peace process.


"They are the ones that we expect to create problems even after a final peace agreement has been signed," she said.


Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita earlier said the peace process would move on even as government troops hunt down the two renegade MILF commanders.


"We are not putting the peace talks in the backburner. The peace process moves on," he said.


Ermita said that while the directive was to go after the rogue MILF commanders, the President wanted to ensure that collateral damage would be avoided.


"It is in this light that military and police forces, as part of their pursuit operations, and representatives from various government agencies concerned are to touch base and work closely with local government officials and community leaders in the areas affected to ensure the delivery of necessary social services to people," he said.


Ermita also said that laying down of arms by the MILF was not a condition by the government before talking anew to the seccessionist group.


"The talks will continue... the matter of disarmament will be a subject that can be effectively addressed when the peace agreement is signed," he said.


Meanwhile, President Arroyo lauded Toyota Motor Philippines in its commitment to help in the development of the local automotive industry by providing livelihood and jobs to the Filipino people.


Toyota employs more than 12,000 Filipino skilled workers, making it a major employer in the country.


The company is also a top 10 Fortune Global 500 enterprise, and ranks among the world's largest automobile manufacturers, selling 7.5 million models annually in all five continents.


Toyota Motor Philippines leads the market with a share of 37 percent for May 2008, based on the reports of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI).


The President also lauded Toyota Motors for helping the nation in its environment conservation program in line with its upcoming "hybrid models", which shift from gasoline fuel to electric power at the touch of a button.


"I already have one," she said, adding that she would like to see more of it plying the streets in the future.

 

* * * * *

 

Widespread consultations on proposed MOA-AD to start regardless of what SC decision would be on the issue of its constitutionality

 

Widespread consultations on the proposed Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) is now in the offing no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court will be on the constitutionality of MOA-AD.

 

Press Secretary Jesus G. Dureza said the next step will already see consultations with all stakeholders, with the Bishop-Ulama conference earlier called by the President to help get the pulse of the affected populace.

 

Stressing the government will no longer sign the MOA-AD in its present form, Dureza said everything now depends on the results of said consultations.

 

“We will conduct consultations because they were saying there are no consultations o kung meron man ay kulang; may mga tutol sa MOA-AD so rerepasuhin muna natin ito,” Dureza said.

 

Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo asked the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Friday night to immediately surrender the rogue elements of the secessionist group in Mindanao who committedatrocities against civilians in Mindanao and face the bar of justice.

 

“The peace process must be anchored on justice. Hence, the MILF must turn in Commanders Umbra Kato, Bravo and Pangalian to face the bar of justice,” the President said in her speech at the 20th anniversary of Toyota Motor Corporation held at the Grand Ballroom of Makati Shangri-la in Makati City.

 

The President issued the message as she stressed that the national government never deviated from its peace negotiations with the MILF despite her marching order to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct “full, vigorous, unrelenting pursuit operations” against lawless MILF members who attacked innocent civilians in North Cotabato, Saranggani and Lanao Del Norte provinces.

 

"There is no all-out war, only all-out peace in Mindanao," the President said, adding that the military operations are limited only against the suspects who committed criminal acts against innocent civilians, killing them, burning their houses and taking away their properties,” Dureza said.

 

She said that the ongoing police and military operations against renegade MILF leaders and their followers are only meant to ensure the success of the peace process once fightings in Mindanao subside and both sides agree to resume negotiations.

 

“The campaign we are waging is intended to remove the obstacles to peace,” she said.

 

The President also said that if the MILF leaders were really sincere in ending the hostilities in Mindanao, they should turn over commanders Ameril Umbra Kato, Abdulrahman Macapaar alias "Bravo” and Pangalian to the proper authorities because they are "recalcitrants" who pose problems to the peace process.

 

"They are the ones that we expect to create problems even after a final peace agreement has been signed," the President said.

 

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita earlier said the peace process would continue even as government troops hunt down the two renegade MILF commanders.

 

"We are not putting the peace talks in the backburner. The peace process moves on," he said.

 

Ermita explained that while the President’s directive was to go after the rogue MILF commanders, the President wanted to ensure that collateral damage would be avoided.

 

"It is in this light that military and police forces, as part of their pursuit operations, and representatives from various government agencies are to touch base and work closely with local government officials and

community leaders in areas affected to ensure the delivery of necessary social services to people," he said.

 

Ermita also said that the laying down of arms by the MILF is not a condition by the government before talking anew to the secessionist group.

 

"The talks will continue... the matter of disarmament will be a subject that can be effectively addressed when the peace agreement is signed," he said. 

 

* * * * *

 

Statement of Press Secretary Jesus G. Dureza: Re Statement of MILF's Al-Haj Murad 

 

 

If Chairman Al-Haj Murad is not willing or capable of bringing in his three MILF commanders to answer for their terroristic acts, then he and his men must stand down as government forces enforce the law…

 

Short of that, there will be no let up in government offensive.

 

The military and the police cannot suspend their law enforcement operations unless the three base commanders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are neutralized and punished in accordance with our laws for their acts of terrorism against innocent and helpless civilians.

 

The three MILF commanders, namely, Commander Umbra Kato, Commander Bravo and Commander Pangalian, are historically recalcitrant commanders and may continue their violent acts even if agreements are signed with the MILF leadership.

 

If Chairman Murad wishes to bring back on track the derailed peace talks, he must show that he does not countenance those criminal acts by either surrendering them to the law; or, if unable to enforce control over his own commanders, should order his men to stand aside to enable our Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Philippine National Police (PNP) forces to enforce the law.

 

The inaction of the MILF leadership will be construed as its tacit approval of the criminal acts of its three commanders and will be a clear proof of the MILF leadership’s insincerity to pursue the conclusion of the peace talks.

 

We want to continue peace negotiations but not at the expense of our laws.

 

We have gone a long way for peace but not at the expense of our innocent civilians who seek vindication for the violence inflicted on them by those lawless MILF groups. Our peace-loving citizens expect no less.

 

There is no all-out war in Mindanao. This is waging all-out peace in Mindanao.

 

* * * * *

 

PGMA welcomes $1.25 billion Kuwaiti investment venture in RP

 

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo welcomed today a Kuwaiti company's $1.025- billion investment venture in the Philippines which, she said, clearly showed the oil-rich country's "trust in our economy."

Keynoting the start of operations of the Kuwait Gulf and Link (KGL) Investment Company by developing a 167-hectare portion of the former US military base here, the President said the strong economic showing of the country in 2007, brought about by the "tough" fiscal reforms she implemented, has made the Philippines a favorable destination for investors.

 

She said her state visit to Kuwait in December last year was an opportune time for the country "to advance Philippine economic and investment opportunities with (Kuwaiti) business leaders."

 

"We were able to showcase our country's extraordinary value for investment: a strategic location and a productive and English speaking workforce," the President said.

 

"These are increasingly being recognized by foreign investors all over the world, from Europe and North America to the Middle East," she added.

 

With the country's very good economic performance, the President said "Our nation is finally on the move.

 

For the first time in a long time, we are on track to balance our budget. We have the needed revenues in the bank to invest in our people."

 

She added that she was happy that the Kuwaiti company has decided to invest here as "Kuwait has been a very good friend of the Philippines."

 

It may be recalled that a Memorandum of Agreement between the two countries was signed before the President and members of the Kuwaiti Royal Family at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport last April 4.

 

The MoA called for the development of a master-planned aviation -- oriented logistics and business center of excellence, to be known as the Global Gateway Logistic City (GGLC).

 

It will host business enterprises and operations with priority given to aviation and logistics-related businesses, including, but not limited to, warehousing, distribution, transportation and related multi-nodal logistics; light industrial and manufacturing; administrative, management and business offices and complimentary commercial and retail operations that are present in and around major international airports, aviation complexes and aerotropolis.

 

Over 2,200,000 square meters of turn-key facilities, ranging from warehouses and light industrial facilities to modern office buildings and commercial and retail outlets will be design-built for direct lease to locators or investors.

 

The President said the KGL Investment Co., which she pointed out, belongs to Billion Dollar Club investors, such as Texas Instruments and Hanjin Heavy Industries, Inc., "boosts" the 10-point legacy she wants completed by the end of her term in 2010.

 

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's 10-point legacy agenda are contained in the acronym:

B - alance the Budget

E - ducation for all

A - utomated elections

T - ransport and Digital Infrastructure



T - erminate the rebellion and bring peace to Mindanao

H - ealing the wounds of EDSA

E - lectricity and Water in every barangay



O - pportunity for jobs

D - econgesting Metro Manila

D - eveloping

S - Subic and Clark into a competetive service and logistics center

 

She said with KGL's investment, achieving "DS" in BEAT THE ODDS is "boosted."

"The GULCH will be the first fully-integrated master-planned center for airport and aviation-oriented operations and businesses in the Philippines and a crucial hub in what we envision to be the best service and logistics center in the region," the President said.

"We anticipate with excitement their state-of-the-art facilities including excellent infrastructure, a comprehensive security system, and sophisticated communications networks, along with many other physical amenities," she added.

 

"We count on Global Gateway to be managed and maintained to the highest international standards, befitting the international companies who will be locating here."

 

The President also cited the other equally important investments of Kuwait, the first Arab country to extend a development loan to the Philippines which it used to fund its biggest road project: 115 kilometers of roads from Pagadian City through Lanao del Norte and Sur and Maguindanao to Cotabato City.

 

Aside from these investments, the President said the Kuwaiti government has "offered to help upgrade the Davao Regional Hospital into a national cancer center, the Cotabato Regional Medical Center into a regional cancer center,and modernize the Zamboanga Medical Center surgery block."

 

The President said that these investments by Kuwait "inspires our efforts to achieve legacy number five: to bring peace to Mindanao."

 

The President said that despite her utmost desire for lasting peace to reign in Mindanao, "peace must be anchored on justice."

 

"The rampage of some lawless MILF groups in Mindanao calls for resolute military and police action," the President said.

 

"They created trouble before and during proceedings of the peace process. They will likely create problems even after a final agreement would be forged between the government and the MILF," she added.

 

She stressed that the current military and police actions against these "recalcitrant commands are intended to remove the obstacles to the peace process."

 

She reiterated her earlier statement on the MILF: "There is no all out war. What we are doing is to have all out peace in Mindanao."

 

In ending, the President appealed to everyone to support government efforts to bring lasting peace in Mindanao.

 

"We wish for all insurgents to turn their swords into plowshares, their arms to farms. We ask all sectors to be with us including our brothers in the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference)," the President said.

 

 

* * * * *

 

PGMA’s Speech during the Toyota Motor Corporation’s Twenty Years of Solid Partnership Celebration

Rizal Grand Ballroom, The Shangri-La, Makati City

August 22, 2008

 

 

Investments

 

“Just like our economy, one of the best values for investment in Asia, the local automotive industry has been able to withstand the full force of a growing global economic slowdown. Local vehicle sales have grown by 14 percent this year, in sharp contrast to the two-digit slump in automobile sales in the U.S.

 

Economy

 

“With our hard work together and with our strong economic fundamentals which has helped us to be able to weather the global economic slowdown, we will attain the vision of First World status within in the next 20 years of Toyota in the Philippines.”

 

Peace and Order

 

“The peace process must be anchored on justice. Hence, the MILF must turn in Commanders Umbra Kato, Bravo and Pangalian to face the bar of justice. We have never deviated from the objectives of the peace process. The campaign we are waging is intended to remove the obstacles to peace.”

 

“There is no all-out war. We are doing this to have an all-out peace in Mindanao. We have enough troops and law enforcers to address the situation, protect the people, prevent the lawless MILF groups from further terrorizing them, and maintain peace and order in Mindanao.”

 

Full text of speech available at http://www.op.gov.ph/speeches.asp

 

* * * * *

 

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Speech during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Global Gateway Logistics City at Clarkfield, Pampanga

August 25, 2008

 

Governance

 

"Our nation is on the move.  For the first time in long time, we’re on track to balance our budget.  We have the revenues needed in the bank to invest in our people.  And invest we do:  in education, the environment, and healthcare."

 

"We have made tough choices. Our congressmen helped us make those tough choices. Because of these tough choices that Congress helped us with, the global crisis occurring now did not catch us helpless and unprepared. Through foresight, grit and political will, we have built a shield that has slowed and somewhat softened the worst effects of the global crisis on our country."

 

"This is part of the 10-point legacy that I unveiled in 2004. The 10-point legacy can be remembered by the acronym BEAT THE ODDS:  budget, education, automated elections, transport and digital infrastructure, terminating the rebellion and bringing peace to Mindanao, healing the wounds of EDSA, electricity and water, opportunities for jobs, decongesting Metro Manila, and finally, DS in BEAT THE ODDS is Developing Subic-Clark into a competitive service and logistics center."

 

Peace and Order

 

"We have never deviated from the objectives of the peace process. But peace must be anchored on justice. The rampage of some lawless MILF Groups in Mindanao calls for resolute military and police action. So the campaign against them is intended to remove the obstacles to the peace process."

 

"So I say to the Filipinos; to the world; to our Muslim brothers in the south; to the OIC through our Kuwaiti friends, there is no all-out war.  What we are doing, we are doing to have all-out peace in Mindanao."

 

"We wish for all insurgents to turn their swords into plowshares, their arms to farms.  We ask all sectors to be with us, including our brothers in the OIC."

 

Foreign Relations

 

"Kuwait was the first Arab country to extend a developmental loan to the Philippines 30 years ago."

 

"The Kuwaiti government’s projects and the Kuwaiti investments in our country such as these KGL Logistics and Service Hub inspire our efforts to achieve legacy number 5, to bring peace to Mindanao so that our Muslim brothers would be truly a part of the unified Philippine society."

 

Investments

 

"The visit also gave us the chance to advance Philippine economic and investment opportunities with business leaders. We’re able to showcase our country’s extraordinary value for investment: a strategic location, a productive and English speaking work force. These are increasingly being recognized by foreign investors all over the world, from Europe and North America to the Middle East as explained to us by his Highness Sheikh Al Sabah."

 

“And with the investment venture we are launching today, KGL joins Texas Instruments and other members of our billion dollar club.”

 

 

Full text of speech available at http://www.op.gov.ph/speeches.asp

 

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 15:34
 

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