Binay vows to end violence in Mindanao by eliminating poverty
DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan—Vice President Jejomar Binay on Sunday said the only way to end violence in Mindanao was to eliminate poverty in the country.
During the presidential debate at University of Pangasinan, Binay was asked by Amina Salon Aguil how he would end the violence in Mindanao.
Aguil said she could no longer return to their farm and pick vegetables to feed her children because she had been displaced due to the war in Mindanao.
Going to Aguil, Binay said lasting peace may be attained only by eliminating poverty.
“Lasting peace can be achieved only by facing poverty in your area. As a leader, I act instantly; I’m decisive. It will happen,” Binay told her.
“I repeat: The Mindanao problem stems from poverty. If the quality of life there is improved, we won’t be swayed to using guns to condemn the government. Poverty is the issue; it’s the same problem I faced in Makati. I can uplift the life (of the residents),” added Binay, a former mayor of Makati City.
Binay earlier said the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the administration’s pet bill that seeks to create a politically autonomous Bangsamoro region, should not be the only option for peace, citing constitutional infirmities that needed to be ironed out first.
The BBL is the result of a peace deal signed by the government with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
He said the BBL should include the lumad in Mindanao, and even the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), from which the MILF was a breakaway group.
The Vice President also said the administration of President Benigno Aquino III should not rush the passage of the bill only because the latter wanted it to be part of his legacy.
The BBL, which will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, was killed when Congress adjourned ahead of the 2016 campaign period without passing it.
The bill faced rough waters in Congress after lawmakers questioned the MILF’s sincerity to peace when it got involved in the bloody January 2015 Mamasapano clash with Special Action Force troops and other rebels in the hunt for terrorist Marwan, who was allegedly coddled by the Muslim group.
Binay had also vowed to create a Malacañang in Mindanao to decentralize the national government. RC
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