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Arroyo calls for political ceasefire

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:22:00 11/06/2008

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Zambales — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has called for a political ceasefire as Christmas approaches, but at the same time, reiterated her directive for security forces to defeat the communist insurgency before the end of her term in 2010.

Noting that Christmas was just 50 days away, the President said: “Our communities must pull together and set aside personal feuds and political differences. We must focus instead on what positive things we can all do together to improve the lives of our people.”

“We would hope that our opponents would join us in putting the people first. Unfortunately, some will opt to put politics and even obsolete ideology ahead of the people. But for us, we will continue to protect the poor and move the nation forward during this challenging time,” she said in a speech at a Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) here on Thursday.

When sessions resume next week, the House of Representatives is set to tackle yet another impeachment attempt against Arroyo while the Senate will reopen its investigation into the P728 million fertilizer fund scam.

Arroyo congratulated security forces in Central Luzon for reducing the strength of the New People’s Army by half over 10 years, but said they should work overtime to dislodge the remaining rebels from 111 villages in her home province of Pampanga and in Bataan and Aurora.

“Kailangan matigil na ang pagsabotahe ng mga rebelde sa mga cell sites. Kailangan matigil na ang kanilang pananakot, pangingikil at pagrerecruit ng mga bagong kasapi [The rebels must be stopped from sabotaging cell sites, sowing fear, conducting extortion, and recruiting new members],” she said.

“If we want to become a first world country in 20 years… we have to put a stop to the ideological nonsense once and for all… We have to get rid of the insurgency now, by 2010,” she said.

Arroyo said she felt for the poor, who have beet hit by high prices of food and fuel, and reiterated that her government was working to rein in inflation.

“We will make sure our government is vigilant in bringing government services to the people… We must dedicate ourselves to the poor and unfortunate amongst us everyday and even more so during the holiday season,” she said.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-11-06T07:58:49+00:00UTC11bUTCThu, 06 Nov 2008 07:58:49 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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