LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… But, `Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’ For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends…” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18, the Holy Bible).
MINDANAO ROADS, PORTS, AIRPORTS UP FOR CONSTRUCTION: The Duterte government is now pursuing projects aimed at “achieving a seamless connectivity for Mindanao” through the so-called “Mindanao Development Corridors”, in which interregional roads, gateway ports and airports, and the Trans-Mindanao Highspeed Railway System will be built in the next several days, Secretary Abul Khayr Dangcal Alonto of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said Thursday, 17 August 2017.
Alonto spoke before members of the Rotary Club (RC) of Intramuros Manila, led by its Great President Aries Balanay and Secretary General Prof. Joedy Cruel, as its guest of honor and speaker in its regular Thursday Club meetings. Alonto was invited to the Club by his nephew, President Elect Jamairy Concon Domado of RC Intramuros (see www.facebook.com/attybatas for the photos).
Explaining the idea behind the “Mindanao Development Corridors” project, Alonto said MinDA is at present in the forefront of providing Mindanawons with a high-speed and modern railway system that will be at par with that of our neighbors in the ASEAN (Association of South East Nations) Region…”
MINDANAO INFRASTRUCTURE GOAL: ONE, UNITED, AND INTERCONNECTED MINDANAO: The relevant parts of Alonto’s speech follows: “This railway project will go beyond political, cultural, and economic boundaries and hopefully will facilitate social cohesion in Mindanao. In fact, our goal is to create a one, united, and interconnected home for every Mindanawon.
“The corridors program will also be our platform in securing lasting peace and development in Mindanao. To be more precise about it, peace is not just the absence of war, but is also a state when people from all walks of life are able to truly feel, live, and benefit from the development that we envision for them.
“Our main objective in fact is to transform conflict-affected communities and make them productive, sustainable, and fully developed. This is exactly what we aim to achieve with the inclusion of the Bangsamoro Economic Corridors in our long-term and Mindanao-wide connectivity project…”
FEDERAL SYSTEM WILL ADDRESS CALLS FOR BANGSAMORO SELF-DETERMINATION: In the open forum that followed his speech, Alonto stressed that one big way of pushing through with the projects of the Duterte government aimed at connecting the whole of Mindanao to its business and social centers is through the establishment of a federal system of government.
He said federalism addresses the clamor for self-determination of the Bangsamoro people, under a system of government that maintains its loyalty to the Republic. “Unless historical injustices are redressed, and the right to self-determination of the Bangsamor is recognized and respected, Mindanao will always be drawn into a painful and heart-wrenching cycle of war and peace…”
Alonto clarified that calls for self-determination have not confined solely to the Bangsamoro, but also from a wider base of Mindanao constituents who lament the continuing neglect of Mindanao in government projects. “What is clear is that Mindanao cannot move forward unless such clamor for self-determination and self-reliance is addressed, through a shift to a federal form of government,” he added.
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