Sep 152014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/12/06MANILA4915.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA4915 2006-12-06 10:08 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO7555
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #4915 3401008
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 061008Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4187
INFO RUEHZS/ASEAN COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 004915

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID PTER RP
SUBJECT: INCENTIVES FOR PEACE AND COUNTER-TERRORISM GAINS IN MINDANAO

REF: A. MANILA 4656

– B. MANILA 2427

¶1. The situation on the ground in Mindanao has improved
significantly over the past year or two, prompting us to revise our
approach to the incentives to consolidate the peace process. Given
the central role of USG assistance in the growth of zones of peace,
we no longer believe it is in the U.S. interest to withhold
assistance in the absence of a signed peace accord between the
Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Instead, we should build on our remarkably successful approach to
establishing peace on the ground, while offering political support
to the peace negotiations. Our incentive to the MILF is a
commitment to redirect a significant portion of our assistance
toward a livelihood and reintegration program for former combatants
immediately after a peace accord is signed. Negotiators for all the
parties believe this will help fast track a formal settlement.
¶2. Our investment in peace has begun to create conditions favorable
to peace and development, and unfavorable to terrorists. Actual
peace on the ground has gained serious traction and constituents to
the point that a return to full-scale fighting is increasingly
unlikely. Meanwhile, millions of people in this poorest part of the
Philippines have now benefited directly or indirectly from these
programs, whether by gaining access to computers and the internet,
receiving medical attention (often for the first times in their
lives), using new ports and roads, and/or gaining livelihood skills
that allowed them to give up lives of insurgency, to cite only a few
examples. USAID projects are exceptionally well coordinated with
the civil-military and humanitarian operations of Joint Special
Operations Task Force-Philippines and other USG activities to form a
cohesive network supporting peace and development.
¶3. Our investments in the ongoing peace process in Mindanao are
central to achieving USG peace, security, and counter-terrorism
objectives in the Southeast Asia region. Notably, the visible
presence and clear success of the flagship Growth with Equity in
Mindanao (“GEM”) initiative demonstrates to the Philippine
Government , other donors, and even the private sector that it is
possible to safely carry out real development and build sustainable
peace in these areas, thus encouraging other actors to become more
actively engaged in the region.
¶4. As both Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo and MILF Vice Chairman
Ghazali Jaafar have separately told us recently, the momentum of our
effective assistance programs has made a huge difference in pushing
people in the right direction – away from violent conflict and
terrorism and toward peace and development. They, and their
constituents for peace on the ground, want and expect the USG to
continue to invest in peace, with or without an accord. The growing
zones of peace and the growing U.S. influence – based on our
assistance – have a direct impact on the fight against international
terrorists in Mindanao and prove that our strategy against terrorism
in the Philippines is working. The MILF ejected high value
terrorists from Mindanao last year, and is increasingly supportive
of ridding Central Mindanao of all JI and ASG terrorists. The MILF
now calls itself a partner in peace with the government, and
publicly rejects terrorism. We should no longer threaten to
withhold assistance in the absence of a formal peace accord, but
instead build on our successful strategy to foster the conditions
for peace.
KENNEY

   

 

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