Posted 4:53 p.m., July 29, 2008
Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo admitted in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday her government’s failure to alleviate poverty in Mindanao due to the ‘endless conflict in the island.’
But a congresswoman from Davao attributed poverty to the Arroyo government itself.
In a statement, Gabriela Women’s Party List Representative Luzviminda Ilagan maintained, “Terrorism in Mindanao is State-initiated, therefore, it follows that poverty in Mindanao is also caused by the Arroyo government.”
She said that the so-called war on terror turned out to be a `war of terror’ intended to protect the United States and Arroyo’s financial and political interests.
Ilagan said that Arroyo deployed members of the military even in conflict-free areas to silence people opposing so-called ‘development projects.’ She said that massive military operations effectively displaced thousands of families.
She further asserted, “It is the government that quashes any hope of peace in Mindanao. Arroyo’s on-and-off peace talks and anti-terror policy are being used to bail her out of a sagging popularity due to her failure to resolve economic and political crises in the country.”
She also said that if only the government will pursue negotiations on domain claims and respect the rights of the people living in ancestral lands, there is a chance to resolve the enduring conflict in the area. (Bulatlat.com)