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Grace Poe to push more inclusive peace in Mindanao

Presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe on Thursday said that she would continue the peace process that the Aquino administration started.

She, however, added she would seek a more inclusive peace with the stakeholders in the southern Philippines.

“Unang una kailangan magkaroon ng tunay na konsultasyon sa Mindanao na ang lahat ng mga grupo ay maisama. Mga Tausug, Maranao, Maguindanaoan, Badjao, mga indigenous group, etc.,” Poe said in a news conference in Iloilo.

“Kailangan ay pati MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front), MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) lahat po yan. Sapagkat kung mayroon kang hindi isasama hindi mo masasabing representative yun ng kahilingan ng ating mga tao,” she added.

Poe made the remark as the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law continues to languish in both houses of Congress even with President Benigno Aquino III's aggressive push for its passage.

The BBL is the embodiment of the peace agreement that the government reached with the MILF in 2012.

Poe said it was also important to establish transparency when a new autonomous entity is created.

“Naniniwala ako na they should have certain autonomous discretion rights doon sa kanilang mga lugar. Pero kailangan na kung ano man 'yung pera na mapupunta sa kanila, yun ay tunay na mapupunta sa kanilang mga constitutents. Yun lang ang ating kailangan bantayan,” Poe said.

She said it was important to have a balance of political and social policies to ensure that the fragile peace situation in Mindanao becomes sustainable.

“Kaya kung mabibigyan ako ng pagkakataon patuloy po na isusulong natin ang kapayapaan doon pero wag natin kalilimutan ang accountability, inclusivity. Ibig sabihin kasama lahat sa desisyon,” she said.

“Pangatlo huwag natin kalimutan ang social protection sa kanila kasi balewala lahat ng kasunduan na yan kung patuloy pa rin ang kagutuman, patuloy ang walang trabaho, patuloy ang mga nagkakasakit at kawalan ng oportunidad,” she added.

PNP image

Meanwhile, Poe also addressed the image problem from which the Philippine National Police appeared to be suffering.

“Ang aking layunin ay mapalakas ang ating PNP at gawin silang mas epektibo bilang mga community enforcers. Importante po talaga na tutukan natin ang ating trabaho para naman mapagkatiwalaan ng ating kababayan ang kanilang mga opisyales sa gobyerno,” Poe said.

Poe, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said her plans stemmed from her feeling that the public was hesitant in completely trusting the police.

"That alone shows na kung ang media ay nagaalinlangan or if media itself is fearful of reporting to police then there's really an underlying problem,” Poe said. —Andrei Medina/NB, GMA News