“Peace Will Come to Mindanao” –Cesar Montano

 

Zamboanga City— Senatorial aspirant Cesar Montano is hopeful that peace will still be attained in Mindanao. Wearing a Muslim turban, the same headgear he used in his award-winning movie “Bagong Buwan” which tackled the century-old conflict between Christians and Muslims in the land of promise—Mindanao, Montano said “the problem in Mindanao is not about between Muslim and Christian per se. While there is a difference in religious belief, the root of the conflict emanates from social inequality.”

 

Montano said it is a pity that “development has not come to Mindanao in spite of the development aid that have poured in”. Worse, he said, is the innocent civilians are caught in the middle of the armed conflict. “The biggest casualty of the armed conflict are the children and the mothers who have to flee their homes and stay in refugee camps where the facilities are not adequate,” emphasized Montano when interview over the local radio after the Team Unity lunch at the residence of the Lobregats, their hosts in Zamboanga City.

 

Montano believes that “peace in Mindanao will come if a genuine and sustainable development program is pursued vigorously. These development programs should benefit not only the Christian settlers but our Muslims brothers as well,” reiterated Montano. He said the solution lies in an honest to goodness social justice program as captured in his C.E.S.A.R. agenda. He expounded on this by saying that his priority is the protection of children, especially those caught in the crossfire. He said he is also very much against children being used as combatants or even couriers by armed groups. Related to this, he bats for quality education in all levels for Mindanaons, one that will give them access to social mobility. “We need more school houses, not weapons of destruction,” said Montano. Montano also stressed the need for fast, efficient and effective delivery of basic social services like low-cost but decent housing, health care including affordable medicines and vaccines. Lastly, Montano said the law on agrarian reform should be implemented so that the Mindanao tillers of the land could enjoy the fruits of their labor. “Land reform”, he said, “should be complimented by the necessary infrastructure support like irrigation, farm-to-market road, warehouses, and even farm technology.”

 

Montano considers himself an adapted son of Mindanao. He said his exposure to the Mindanao situation while filming “Bagong Buwan” has opened his eyes to the harsh realities and complexities of the conflict. And like in that movie, he is hopeful that the solution will come in due time. He promised to prioritize Mindanao in the allocation of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) if elected as senator this May 14.

 

5 responses to ““Peace Will Come to Mindanao” –Cesar Montano

  1. Moro grievances and the right of self-determination.
    Injustice to the Moro identity
    Injustice to Moro political sovereignty
    Injustice to Moro ancestral territory
    Injustice to Moro integral development
    There’s no peace in Mindanao if Moro grievances are not given attention by government. Do you support an independent Moro homeland?

  2. To Mamoud: We support progressive development in Mindanao. We agree that there will be no peace if the Moro grievances are not given proper attention. This, we do believe will be addressed by Cesar’s advocacy for Mindanao. But we also believe that separation and independence from the existing government should not be an option for all of us. We should all look at one flag, sing one anthem and honor a one nation. Otherwise we will surely fall.

  3. Artemio De La Cruz

    How do you address the Moro ancestral domain?

  4. Artemio De La Cruz

    To: Team Montano

    How to neutralize political clans and big landlord owners who have seats in Congress and posts in the government bureaucracy? These vested groups are blocking the full implementation of CARP in Mindanao Island. In fact, land titles were not physically given lands while those who had secured ownership of their farms were not receiving the support and resources that were supposed to enable them to enhance their welfare. It’s a mockery of the agrarian reform law. The Huk rebellion was a war between poor peasants and big landowners with the support of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

    Philippine Agrarian Reform Gives Land to the Wealthy
    http://www.landaction.org/display.php?article=234

  5. To Artemio: We will know when we get there. As of now, what we have is a platform that we will work on and guide us on how to uplift the lives of the Filipino people. Our actions will be dictated on the assessment of the situation inside the government. Up until the time we know the exact problem on these issues, it will be unfair to give you a resolution. We are also aware of these situations, and have thought of possible strategies on how to go about them. But these are just concepts, we still lack the essentials that only actual interaction would be able to provide.

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