Canada keeps optimism up for Mindanao peace

Canada keeps optimism up for Mindanao peace
By Dennis Jay Santos
Last updated 04:40am (Mla time) 08/04/2007

DAVAO CITY—One of the countries that planned to invest heavily in Mindanao under a negotiated peace settlement with Moro guerrillas has not lost interest in the stalled peace talks between the guerrillas and Philippine government representatives.


Peter Sutherland, Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, said his country continues to monitor the talks and has not relaxed its commitment to help rebuild war torn areas in Mindanao.


Despite some setbacks in the talks, Sutherland said his country has kept its confidence that the talks would succeed.


“If we thought this (peace talks) has gone nowhere, then we wouldn’t be involved,” he said.


Canada has been funding peace support projects in Mindanao under its Canadian International Development Agency (Cida).


But Sutherland said a crab mentality that he saw in some Filipinos was keeping the Philippines from really taking off.


“Some people have the tendency to have crab mentality,” he said during last week’s visit here.


He said while the economic reforms were indeed in place and the economy has improved a lot, the common folk have yet to benefit from this.


“The economy can only be great if men on the streets can actually benefit from it,” he said.


He said during his years in the country, he learned to love Filipinos for their being “incredibly happy people.”


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