Road to peace in Mindanao pushed PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 March 2012 15:29

With the peace talks between the government and Muslim rebel ongoing and the ceasefire mechanism in place – the road to peace is brighter than ever with the infusion of P8 billion by the government as stimulus fund for various projects in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Its initial project is the development of the multi-million pesos Makar-Midsayap national highway in Central Mindanao dubbed as the “Road to Peace,” the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said.

Initiated by the provincial government of Maguindanao under Gov. Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu, the road project was funded under the P8-billion stimulus fund earmarked by the ARMM.

During the groundbreaking ceremony early this week, ARMM Officer-in-Charge Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman said that the initiative is “the regional government’s commitment to deliver development projects to its constituency.”

“The people should feel that there is indeed true good governance in ARMM and we are here to do that for you. This road project is among the many things we want to deliver in the region for all of you to benefit from,” Hataman said. The groundbreaking coincided with the “Kanduli” (Muslim feast).
Deputy Gov. Samsudin Dimaukom, on the other hand, said that “the project is an important avenue for boosting the town’s economy because it will facilitate the transport of goods and products from and to the market.”

Also present during the “Kanduli” ceremony were 6th Infantry Division Commander Major General Rey C Ardo AFP, 6th Infantry Division commander of the Philippine Army, members of the Nonviolent Peace Force, and various local executives of Maguindanao, namely Mayor Zahara Ampatuan of Shariff Aguak, Mayor Zajid Mangudadatu of Pandag and Mayor Ibrahim Ibay of Parang.

Meanwhile, the joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) has been instrumental to Mindanao development efforts by securing conflict-affected areas where infrastructure projects are being implemented.

Apart from their duty of keeping a watchful eye the truce between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation (MILF), the CCCH is also helping bring development in the region.

The GPH-CCCH, the joint ceasefire mechanism irons out security issues that concern the implementation of farm-to-market roads and other infrastructure projects in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, specifically the Makar-Midsayap National Highway at the section of Barangay Pagatin, Datu Salibo; Brgys. Libutan, and Tukanalipao in Mamasapano in Maguindanao.

Government and MILF members who were present during the conference manifested cordial relationship, which is a strong indication that the ceasefire is holding very well. The CCCH is composed of members from the GPH and the MILF, as well as neutral parties.

Established in 2003, it has been tasked to monitor the implementation of the GPH-MILF Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities and resolve complaints over ceasefire violations so that small skirmishes do not intensify.