• Govt to form peace council in Mindanao

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    The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) on Thursday said that the government is set to form the Peace, Reconciliation and Unification Council (PRUC) to solve armed conflict in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and other places in southern Mindanao.

    Tesda Director General Guiling Mamondiong said the PRUC is aimed at easing tension at the ARMM and in Regions 9, 10 and 12, which are currently affected by armed conflict.

    These areas to be covered by the PRUC are the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, Maguindanao, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan and Region 9 and Region 12.

    The Tesda chief has been designated by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the PRUC. Some 25 to 30 members from the provinces covered by the PRUC will join the group. A leader will also be appointed in every team.

    Members of the group will come from various sectors such as religious, traditional, businessmen and youth.

    The PRUC will be responsible for establishing peace and order at the ARMM and in Regions 9, 10 at 12; disseminating reconciliation and unity among regions; communicating with various groups under their jurisdiction to forge agreements; partnering with the government for orderly reconciliation between warring clans and groups and campaigning against loose firearms.

    Mamondiong led a program dubbed “Consultation Summit on the Role of the Private Sector in the Maintenance of Peace and Order” last March 11 (Zamboanga City) for the provinces of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga Peninsula; March 12, Lanao provinces; and March 14, Maguindanao and Cotabato provinces.

    Last year, the government focused on improving the lives of Mindanao residents through the Comprehensive Reform and Development Agenda. NEIL A. ALCOBER

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