Press Release
March 10, 2010

Gordon: Change in Mindanao must begin with the people
Land of promise has become graveyard of broken promises due to ineffective governance

Davao City--Bagumbayan Party presidential candidate Sen. Richard Gordon called on the Mindanaoans to take part and be involved in the process of change if they want to achieve peace and progress in Mindanao

"If you want change, you have to demand it, and change begins with you. You have to ask yourself what is your role. If change is to happen, it must be up to us," Gordon said during the Panaghisgut-hisgut Mindanao Presidential Forum at the Ateneo de Davao University.

Noting the diverse faith and culture of the people living in Mindanao, he added the importance of having a leader that is caring. "The president must show that he cares. There's a lot of exclusion going on in our country. We must learn to respect, understand and accept one another because we are all Filipinos."

He also stressed that peace and progress in Mindanao could be achieved if education is prioritized and if the people are provided with opportunities and options.

The senator explained that Mindanao, known as the land of promise, has become the graveyard of broken promises because of ineffective governance. He stressed, therefore, the importance of choosing the most qualified and most competent candidate to lead the country.

"How do we get Mindanao moving again? The answer is effective governance. If we do not think about the effectiveness of our leaders and you just go by the surveys, you go by what you see without analysis, you're gonna have more of the same thing," Gordon said.

The Bagumbayan standard bearer has been actively advocating programs and measures that would recognize the role of Muslims and indigenous groups in nation-building and would ensure the development of the whole of Mindanao.

Gordon is a co-author and sponsor of the proposed Mindanao Economic Development Authority (MEDA) Act, which would primarily carry out economic and social reforms in Mindanao to ensure the growth and development that the island deserves.

He also spearheaded projects aimed to develop Mindanao. One of these projects is the Fruits of Hope, which provided better profits for fruit farmers of Sulu, Basilan, North Cotabato and other parts of Mindanao when their harvest were flown to Manila where they were picked up by two supermarket chains.

Furthermore, Gordon, author of the Amended Automated Elections System Law, pushed for the automation of the August 2008 election in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which was the first peaceful, speedy and orderly elections in ARMM where there were no election protests arising from the exercise.

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