Press Release
January 8, 2011

Legarda meets with Aung San Suu Kyi, prods PH's continuous support
to restoration of democracy in Burma

Senator Loren Legarda today called for the Philippine government's active role and continuous support to the restoration of democratic rule in Myanmar (Burma).

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, made the statement after a recent meeting with Myanmar's pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi in Yangon (Rangoon), Myanmar (Burma).

According to the Senator, Aung San Suu Kyi believes that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will play a very essential role in restoring the democratic institutions in Myanmar (Burma), in the same way as African nations played a significant part in resolving political disputes in Ivory Coast.

"The release of Aung San Suu Kyi last November sent us a signal that the restoration of democratic rule in Myanmar (Burma) could be on the way. We hailed her release, a hard-fought freedom that translates to a victory for democracy. Now, as member of the ASEAN, we must continue to call on Myanmar (Burma) authorities to take concrete steps towards a fair political system that would allow the involvement of all its citizens in the country's political affairs," Legarda said.

Legarda added that Aung San Suu Kyi said she will only take part in Myanmar's Elections under an "inclusive political process", in which all citizens of Myanmar (Burma) can freely participate.

"We all need to do our part in helping nations, especially our neighbors in Asia, become practising democracies--the kind that works better for development. Aung San Suu Kyi has thanked President Aquino for calling her after she was released from house arrest, and she continues to be grateful to us for our consistency and vigilance in expressing our views and concerns relative to the restoration of democracy in Myanmar (Burma)," Legarda said.

"As a democratic nation, let us continue to encourage and support other nations whose citizens would also want to experience the kind of liberty that we already have--that freedom which allows all of us to use our knowledge, skills, and talent to take part in nation building," she concluded.

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