[From the web] All-out war will divert attention from war on corruption – Akbayan

Akbayan: All-out war will divert attention from war on corruption

Source: http://www.akbayan.org.ph/news/12-press-releases-press-releases/141-akbayan-all-out-war-will-divert-attention-from-war-on-corruption

Akbayan Party today branded the call for an all-out war in Mindanao as a distraction in the government’s “war against corruption”. The group made the statement even as it called on the public to exercise sobriety over the Basilan clash that resulted in the death of 19 soldiers.

According to Akbayan Spokesperson Risa Hontiveros, calls for an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will only serve to divert attention from the Aquino government’s current war on corruption.

“An all-out war strategy in Mindanao will only distract the public from its current war on corruption, something which we cannot afford at this juncture. Such a strategy is the perfect excuse for corrupt officials and plunderers, particularly those of the previous administration to drape themselves in the mantle of fake patriotism and whitewash their crimes,” Hontiveros said.

“If there is a war that the people must resolutely wage, it must be a war against corruption. We must not lose focus,” Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros who is also a long-time peace advocate added that should peace talks be scrapped in favor of an all-out war, government spending would be diverted from more important social spending and services.

“We have to be mindful of the fact that during the Estrada presidency a similar all-out war strategy was implemented. However, peace was not realized. Millions of pesos were wasted, huge casualties on both sides, and thousands of civilians suffered. We’re still dealing with the same MILF the government unsuccessfully fought with an all-out war strategy more than ten years ago,” Hontiveros said.

Akbayan also urged the military to shy away from rumors of a coup plot against the Aquino government.

“It is obvious that some groups are agitating the military to take the path of war. These are the same groups trying to split the military by spreading rumors of a coup against President Aquino. It is understandable that many of our soldiers are emotional over the issue. However, our soldiers must see this obvious plot to derail the peace process and drive a wedge between the military and the Aquino government. They must not fall for this devious ploy,” according to Hontiveros.

Hontiveros also added that with the Basilan incident the necessity of the peace talks becomes more apparent.

According to Hontiveros, justice must be brought to those responsible for the deaths of 19 soldiers.  She said the peace process is one of the best avenues to bring justice to the victims of the Basilan incident.

“Hustisya para sa mga nasawi sa Basilan at kapayapaan sa buong Mindanao,” Hontiveros stressed. ###

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