August 1, 2012 News:A member of the MILF peace panel told Luwaran that the business community in Mindanao particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to invest heavily in the current GPH-MILF peace negotiation, saying real and sustained investment money will only come after the signing of the peace agreement.
“No businessman in his right frame of mind will put his or her money in an uncertain situation where the business is put at the tyranny of circumstances.”
This was the statement of Abdulla Camlian, a member of the MILF peace panel, who hails from Basilan-Zamboanga City.
He explained that the business community is one of the most influential blocs in the country that could have a say in formulating decision of the state to settle the Moro Question and the armed conflict in Mindanao.
“They are not only in business but many of them are in government,” Camlian stated further.
Camlian, however, clarified that investing heavily on the peace process does not mean giving money but to support in every way possible all efforts aimed at the conclusion of the peace talks with the parties signing a peace agreement without delay.
He said on top of the ladder that can make unmake the peace settlement are the Philippine state itself, the Catholic Church in the Philippines, the business community, and mass media, considered the fourth estate.
He said they are the most powerful institutions in the Philippines in that order,clarifying, however, that even if the Church, business, and mass media work as a single bloc, they are still no match to the state.
He said the state headed by the president has all the powers and resources which can run roughshod over all other players.
As this developed, Datu Haron Bandila, a business leader in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), said that the key factor in bringing in investments in the area would be the signing of the GPH-MILF final peace agreement.
“It is the only way for us to fully convince investors to put in their capital to the (autonomous) region and the rest of Mindanao,” Mindanews quoted him as saying.
Vicente Lao, Mindanao Business Council chair shared the same view.
He said that the unstable peace and security situation in Mindanao, especially in the conflict-affected areas, is a national issue that “imperils the productivity and competitiveness of business firms in the Philippines.”
“Generally speaking, this condition hampers the escalation of trade and commerce. Conflict does not only increase the cost of doing business, it also affects revenues as it decreases the purchasing power of the consumers,” he said.