Saturday, December 19, 2009

End warlords’ reign—Teodoro

by Christine F. Herrera

Original Story:

As the fight against warlords in Maguindanao continues, Lakas-Kampi presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr. urged the administration to spur the growth of the province’s economy and promote lasting peace.

Teodoro, former Defense secretary, said the economic rebuilding could hasten the process of reinvigorating the local economy ravaged by years of violence and the culture of terror and lawlessness perpetrated by the ruling clan.

“Economic reconstruction fosters a broad constituency for peace by laying the foundation for sustained economic activity,” said Teodoro, who flew to Maguindanao to extend his assistance to families of the 57 victims of the Nov. 23 massacre.

Authorities charged Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his son Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr., among other individuals, with multiple murder and rebellion following the imposition of a week-long martial law in the province.

Teodoro said rebuilding Maguindanao’s economy will send a “positive signal that peace and normalcy have returned to the region and the province.”

He said recovery could be expedited by professionalizing the local bureaucracy and employing public servants based on their credentials and qualification rather than based on their relations with the warlords.

He urged the national government to extend loans for livelihood and training of the province’s indigenous tribes and marginalized sectors. “Their inability to support themselves and their families is the primary cause of lawlessness in Maguindanao,” he said.

Teodoro added that men are easily lured to join the private armies so they can provide for their families.

Teodoro said the government could speed up the region’s economic healing by promoting Maguindanao as an ideal investment destination because of its cheap labor and proximity to rich agricultural, fishing, and mining resources.

The government could also provide loans and other incentives to local businessmen to expand their operations and create employment, he said.

Teodoro said additional security forces and modern road networks will become useless if poverty in the region is not addressed.

He pushed for the construction of modern roads, bridges, schools, and other support infrastructure that would pave the way for the development of industry and commerce in the area, and greatly aid in removing the ill-effects caused by generations of fighting.

He also batted for the stationing of more peace-keeping forces in the region to “preserve the peace gained” during the reconstruction process.

Original Story:

No comments:

Post a Comment