Leonen assures Mindanao business sector of an inclusive peace process PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 16:29

Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chair Dean Marvic Leonen assured Mindanao business sector that output of the negotiations and of the peace process as a whole will be inclusive.

Leonen was speaker before a forum supported by The Asia Foundation (TAF) dubbed “Engaging Business in the Peace Process” spearheaded by the Mindanao Business Council (MinBC) and the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) held Friday in Davao City. It was participated in by key business organizations and private corporations from regions all over Mindanao including the Muslim Business Forum, Inc. and the Mindanao Tourism Council.

Leonen said the government is fully aware that many groups and voices besides the MILF are working towards the same aspirations for peace in Southern Philippines. “We are therefore vocal in saying that negotiations and all outputs should be inclusive and that all parties should be accommodated within that aspiration,” he stressed.

Leonen also lauded the initiative of business leaders in southern Philippines for supporting the peace negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“President Benigno Aquino III is sincere about the peace talks and he has no other agenda except to bring a just and lasting solution to the armed conflict in Mindanao,” he added.

Moreover, Leonen underscored the vast economic potentials of Mindanao in terms of tourism, fisheries, agro-industries, as well as its potential ability to harness and mobilize its highly skilled and experienced Moro professionals, technical and managerial human resources.

“I’ve personally seen them, I have seen the young Moro as we have a legal team dominated by excellent young Moro professionals,” he said. “I have seen a lot of good Moro leaders, public and private who can actually be our leaders of the future.”

“We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to bring about a peace agreement soon enough – hopefully within this year,” Leonen positively declared, “but as government negotiator I can only promise our aspirations within the government panel.”

“We are all in this together; we believe that this is a national issue and not a local one, for the sooner we realize this peace, the better for our country,” he added.

The government peace panel is currently in Malaysia for the next round of formal talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that started yesterday. — PIA