Press Release
April 15, 2016


Independent vice-presidential candidate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero said stakeholders should dictate the peace and development agenda in Mindanao and not the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).

Escudero said this is one lesson the next administration should keep this in mind as it pursues peace in the region.

"Sinolo ng OPAPP ang magandang intensyon, galing at talino. Sana kinausap nila ang lahat ng stakeholders. Kasi kung iyon ang ginawa nila, maayos na siguro ang Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)," Escudero said.

The draft BBL remains pending with Congress mainly due to the failure of the proponents to consult with other stakeholders apart from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

He said the draft BBL bear many loopholes and devoid of the advocacies, positions and proposals being pushed by all stakeholders in the region.

Escudero has been batting for a more inclusive and meaningful consultation with local government units, non-government organizations, indigenous peoples, religious organizations and rebel groups, among others, for the crafting of the law that is envisioned to end years of armed conflict in Mindanao and bring about peace.

The veteran lawmaker said the future framework should be an improved version of the Malacañang-backed BBL drafted by the OPAPP.

"Dalangin ko ay kapayapaan para sa buong Pilipinas lalo na dito sa Mindanao. Tama na ang paggamit ng baril, bomba at patayan ng Pilipino laban sa Pilipino," he said.

The peace process, however, Escudero said should be complemented by increased government investments in Mindanao to stir economic activities and address the lack of infrastructure, jobs and basic social services in the region.

"Paano uunlad ang Pilipinas kung hindi tututukan ang pag-unlad sa Mindanao?" Escudero asked.

This is precisely the reason, Escudero said, why he and Poe plan to allocate P1 trillion, or about 30 percent of the 2016 of the current budget, to Mindanao in their first year in office to fast-track development projects in the region and encourage businesses, if they win in the national elections.

"Sa pamamagitan nito mas makakahabol at makakasabay ang Mindanao sa pag-unlad ng bansa, pag-unlad na matagal nang tila naging mailap sa ating mga kababayan dito," he said.

News Latest News Feed