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Industry leaders call for sobriety over Mamasapano clash, focus on economic dev’t

... Top businessmen reject calls for Aquino resignation, back pursuing peace with MILF
By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 11:39 PM March 10, 2015
Enrique Razon Jr. and Tonyboy Cojuangco FILE PHOTOS

Enrique Razon Jr. and Tonyboy Cojuangco FILE PHOTOS

MANILA, Philippines—Philippines Inc., an alliance of industry leaders, has joined the rest of the business community in calling for peace and sobriety amid the controversies surrounding the Mamasapano clash in Maguindanao in January.

In a statement, the group has instead stressed the need to focus all efforts in boosting economic development in Mindanao to secure lasting peace, rather than to demand the resignation of President Benigno Aquino III and call for the abandonment the peace talks and for the launch of an all-out war against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

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The Philippines Inc. urged the government to set up economic zones or provide tax incentives that would help attract more companies to locate in Mindanao, thus creating jobs and sustainable income.

Job creation, the group stressed, would lead to lasting peace, cooperation and unity among residents in the area.

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“It is our belief that providing job opportunities is giving the people an option (other than) becoming mercenaries in a war. In this light, Philippines Inc. has standing dialogues with several American and foreign enterprises, all of which had expressed willingness to pour investments in Mindanao should the situation make it possible,” the group explained.

Philippines Inc. further urged the government to continue talks concerning the Bangsamoro Basic Law process as a way to address the concerns of the various stakeholders.

Philippine Inc., an alliance of some of the most respected leaders in the country, is aimed at establishing a reformed business environment to attract new and domestic foreign investments to the country, and encouraging the business sector to engage investors in long-term partnerships and investments in the Philippines.

Members of the Board of Trustees included Antonio Cojuangco, who serves as chairman of the board; Jesus “Susing” Pineda Jr. (vice chairman); Antonio Lopa (president); and Jose Manuel Romualdez (executive vice president).

Other board members include Enrique Razon,  Justo “Tito” Ortiz, Tony Tan Caktiong, Aurelio Luis Montinola, Alfredo Yao, Eusebio Tanco, Antonio Tuviera, Manuel “Beaver” Lopez Jr., Fausto Preysler Jr., Miguel Varela, Elizabeth Lee, Rolando Mario Villonco and Annie Tan-Yee.

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