Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Albay congressional bets cite stand on peace in Minadanao

By Sally Atento-Altea

LEGAZPI CITY, Apr 21 (PIA) – Five out of eight congressional candidates in three congressional districts in the province of Albay presented their stand and platform on peace concerns in Mindanao at the Peace Forum held April 19 at the Bicol University.

Present in the Usapang Kapayapaan Forum for Congressional Candidates in Albay are Atty. Antonio Betito and Atty Gregorio Contacto for the 1st district, Danilo Maravillas for 2nd district and Atty. Oliver Olaybal and Elmer Pornel for 3rd district.

Betito, Contacto and Maravillas are pushing for federalism to give Muslims the opportunity to govern on their own and improve economic condition of communities as it can pave way to a bigger share in their collected taxes and revenues.

Betito, NPC congressional bet, said under federalism all regions in the country including Mindanao will become semi-autonomous since they are not independent from the central government in terms of defense and foreign relations.

“Let’s give our muslim brothers the autonomy they have been longing for, and that is through transition from unified government that we have now to federal form of government,” he said.

Contacto said he will be supporting federalism which is also the stand of their party’s standard bearer, PDP-Laban chairman Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte , to give muslims the right to live and govern according to their customs and traditions.

“Our muslim brothers should be given the right to live and solve their own problems. They must have their own government governed by fellow muslims based on their customs and traditions. The Christians have no right to interfere with our muslim brothers. We need to respect their traditions and culture,” he said.

Maravillas, an independent candidate, affirmed the need to respect each culture and religion citing that the conflict we are facing now in our society, including all corruption and illegal activities are rooted to broken relationship with God and neighbor.

Olaybal on the other hand, also independent, said federalism is not the answer to the issues and concerns that need to be addressed to attain peace in Mindanao such as poverty and armed conflict.

“Federalism is not the answer because it is not the question. The issues to be addressed are economic environment and segregation. Poverty in Mindanao can be solved by passing a law prohibiting centralized approval of loans by the big banks which are concentrated in Metro Manila that is why money is not properly circulated to other provinces including Mindanao. We call it hoarding of capital.” he explained.

Olaybal furthered that instead of segregating muslims to christians and fellow filipinos, they must be integrated and not treated differently “since we are now living in a world without borders.”

Moreover, all candidates are one in their stand not to support the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, in its present form, should they be elected in congress noting that some of its provisions are unconstitutional and need revisions.

Also in the said forum are government of the Philippines chief negotiator and Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) representative Prof. Miriam Coronel Ferrer and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) representative Prof. Aboud Syed Lingga as members of panel of reactors.

The panel of questioners are Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Albay chair Hermogenes Alegre Jr representing broadcast media and ABS-CBN news chief Aireen Perol-Jaymalin for television.

Representatives from various sectors such as academe, government, religious, youth, media and business also participated in the said forum. (SAA-PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/2571461224118/albay-congressional-bets-cite-stand-on-peace-in-minadanao#sthash.2iGRNZFn.dpuf

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