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Aquino pushes talks for Mindanao peace

Even as the government is prepared to use its full might against rebels committing atrocities in Mindanao, President Aquino is quick to admit the military option will not resolve the armed conflict in the south.

After the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law was stalled in Congress, the President still pushed for a continuity of dialogue and development efforts to attain just and lasting peace in Mindanao.

“The military solution is not the solution,” Aquino said in a recent interview with Channel News Asia when asked how to deal with rebel groups not covered by the government’s peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“You have to get all of these people to believe in the system, that there is an address of grievances available in the system, that there is an ability to improve one’s lot in life by working through the system,” Aquino added.

While the government worked for peace, Aquino said they simultaneously carried out projects aimed at uplift lives of people living in conflict-affected areas. “That’s what we’re trying to do and have been doing in so many communities – where the military and the police have given us a measure of peace and have managed to shelter the communities away,” he added.

The President reiterated his position on how to deal with other rebel groups in Mindanao, saying the government is willing to talk peace to those who want peace. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)