GRINGO HONASANManila, May 23, 2003 -- Sen. Gregorio Honasan has warned President Arroyo 
of another people's uprising if she continues with her all-out war in 
Mindanao instead of adopting a comprehensive peace policy that integrates a 
sound economic development program and considers the socio-cultural 
backgrounds of various groups and territories in the South.

He aired the warning after reports that Mrs. Arroyo appeared to have a 
change of mind in running in the 2004 polls.

"The so-called 'back-channeling' efforts, which have been proved so 
inefficient, will again take prominence instead of the formal peace talks 
even if President Arroyo sought the assistance of the Malaysian government 
for its reopening. This cycle of violence will negate any effort toward 
economic development in Mindanao," Honasan said.

At the launching of his National Recovery Program (NRP) at Plaza Miranda in 
Quiapo, Manila last Tuesday, the senator lambasted Mrs. Arroyo for her 
inconsistent peace policy, which he said has led to more deaths in Mindanao 
as she also failed to address the root causes of rebellion  mass poverty, 
ignorance and underdevelopment.

Honasan, chairman of the Senate committee on peace, unification and 
reconciliation, said the NRP is a manifesto containing the immediate 
concerns, demands and aspirations of the Filipino people. He said its 
primary objective is to arrest the rapid spiraling descent of the country.

"It is an integrated agenda of actions that are urgent and yet doable," he 
noted, adding his NRP is focusing on five areas of governance  peace and 
order, economy, poverty, population and corruption  and intends to spark a 
national debate the result of which would be a comprehensive people's 
program for national recovery based on the consensus of a wider range, 
including cross-sections of Philippine society.

The strong call for peace in Mindanao is included in Honasan's NRP, a 
blueprint to pave the way for a democratic and progressive Philippines 
adopted by members of 300 multisectoral groups in the recently held 
Citizens' Caucus in Baguio City where the senator from Bicol was again 
prodded to run for vice president in the 2004 elections.

Early this year, the Guardians launched the Gringo for Vice President 
Movement in Candon, Ilocos Sur.

Thousands of Honasan's supporters, mainly members of the one million-strong 
Philippine Guardians Brotherhood Inc. with chapters all over the country 
and overseas, attended the NRP launching. Some were spotted wearing 
T-shirts emblazoned with "FPJ-Gringo 2004."

Honasan cited the recent resignation of Jesus Dureza as chairman of the 
government panel for peace talks with the MILF as another setback in the 
peace process between the government and the Moslem rebel group.

He added the government's attack on the Buliok Complex, the subsequent 
bombings in Davao allegedly perpetrated by the MILF, the recent MILF attack 
in Siocon and the administration's imposition of rewards for the capture of 
MILF leaders have again escalated the cycle of violence in Mindanao, 
gravely affecting civilians. (Tribune)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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