June 23, 2010
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is alarmed at the recent abduction of the son of a COMELEC commissioner in Mindanao. The region has been known as a place where violence and lawlessness run rampant.
“We urge our military and police to answer the call of the times and live up to expectations by showing determination in resolving the case. It’s about time we put an end to impunity.”
While he would like the case to be resolved swiftly, Pangilinan, cautions authorities not to escalate the situation through violence.
“We will have the guilty punished, but it is about time we look into long-term solutions to decades-old social unrest in those regions. We must come up with measures to address poverty, isolation, and underdevelopment–which are the root of it all.”
“If people feel that they are being neglected by their government, social unrest will continue, and abductions such as this will continue. We must address key issues in the region as soon as possible. Our nation cannot move forward when certain sectors resort to abduction as a means to be heard. We need to have an environment of safety and security as a nation.”
Pangilinan points to the peace initiatives during the Ramos administration as an excellent template in resolving social unrest and armed conflict.
“The Ramos presidency was arguably the most successful administration in terms of pushing for a genuine peace agenda with various rebel groups such as the CPP, NPA, MNLF, and MILF. This created an atmosphere of relative peace that in turn resulted in the development of General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao city.”
“I am confident that President-elect Noynoy Aquino can do the same with his administration, but we must all work together as a nation to make it happen. A second wave of development brought about by aggressive peace negotiations and economic development and incentives under the Aquino administration can benefit cities like Cotabato, Marawi, Iligan and Marbel. It may be difficult, but it is very much achievable.”