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Friday, April 19, 2024

Develop Basilan, conflict areas in Mindanao – PBBM

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President Marcos on Saturday ordered concerned government agencies and local government units to develop further Basilan and former “conflict areas” in the region as he made history for being the first Philippine President to witness the decommissioning of some 400 illegal firearms seized in the province.

“Although the ceremonies that we have here are really very simple, it is symbolic of a very important day because this is a testament to the commitment of all stakeholders to peace,” Mr. Marcos told reporters in an ambush interview in Sumisip town.

“I’m the first President to be able to come here because this was ground zero in the time of the fighting. And so, it is a very clear landmark on the progress we have been making in bringing peace to the southern Philippines,” he added.

He said the government and its stakeholders are continuing their efforts to convince rebels to return back to the fold of the law.

“We will continue to support everything that they need in terms of housing, in terms of livelihood, in terms of schools, in terms of infrastructure. That’s the role that we will play,” the commander-in-chief added.

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The President said the development of Basilan and other regional areas would be a huge milestone for the administration.

“When we talk about peace, it does not only mean the cessation of the violence, what it also means is that we continue to make sure that the livelihood and the progress will come to Basilan and all of the other provinces that were once areas of conflict,” he said.

“Basilan’s new role is now the war against hunger. You have a land area twice the size of Singapore, blessed with a rich soil, above-all more or less typhoon-free, which makes you an ideal bulwark in our fight for food security,” Mr. Marcos added.

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