An alliance of business and industry leaders headed by relatives of President Benigno Aquino 3rd has issued a statement labeling as “counterproductive” calls for resignation of the country’s leader.
The group, which calls itself as Philippines Inc., also rejects demands for the government to abandon the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in the aftermath of the January 25 Mamasapano incident that killed 44 police commandos.
“[We] reject as counterproductive both the demands for President Aquino to resign and for the government to abandon the peace talks and launch an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF),” the Philippines Inc. said in a statement on Tuesday.
“History teaches us that the unrest in Mindanao stems from the pervasive underdevelopment of the region, a reality that neither Aquino’s resignation nor an all-out offensive will address. Instead, efforts must go into securing lasting peace in the area by focusing on economic development,” the group added.
Philippine Inc. is headed by media and telecommunications tycoon Antonio Cojuangco with Antonio Lopa as president.
Cojuangco is the second cousin of President Aquino while Lopa’s brother–Ricardo–is married to a sister of the President’s mother, former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.
The group also counts Jesus “Susing” Pineda Jr. as vice chairman and Jose Manuel Romualdez as executive vice president with the following as members of its Board: Enrique Razon, Justo “Tito” Ortiz, Tony Tan Caktiong, Aurelio Luis Montinola, Ambassador Alfredo Yao, Eusebio Tanco, Antonio Tuviera, Manuel “Beaver” Lopez Jr., Fausto Preysler Jr., lawyer Miguel Varela, Elizabeth Lee, lawyer Rolando Mario Villonco and Annie Tan- Yee.