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PRESS CONFERENCE
WITH ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT BANK

During the First International Business Summit
In Zamboanga City
December 1998

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN NUR MISUARI:

            Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.  Assalamo Alaykom Wa Rahmatullahi Taala Wa Barakatuhu.  Peace be on you and the blessing of the Almighty God and Good Morning ladies and gentlemen.

            First of all, it is my pleasure to welcome you in this very important press conference which I believe will commend the launching of our working session here in the beautiful city of Zamboanga.  And from the reading of the names and the organizations you belong to, I can presume that the national media plus some international media people are here with us today.  And I am very very honored to receive you  and to have access to the man who is the key to the holding of this business conference.  Dr. Mohammad Ali is an old friend of mine and he is the head of one of the most powerful banks in the Middle East not to say of the world.  This is the Islamic Development Bank. 

            At one time, for your information, I was reading some media _______ in the Middle East indicating that even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank were a little bit suspicious about this bank. Whether this bank is going to become their rival  because of the idea of collecting a basket of currencies in the Islamic World, so that the Islamic World could have a tendered their own.  But that speculation was wrong because the Islamic World until now  still are connected  with International Monetary System.  Among the biggest subscribers to the World Bank and the IMF are the Islamic World as you all know, particularly countries that control more than 60% of the oil resources of the world.  I would like to inform you that according to the finding that at least 60% of  total  oil resources of the world are sitting underneath the territories of the Islamic World.  And I think, you know very well that Islamic World occupies the most strategic part of the globe.  Whether you talk of the Mediterranean  Sea, the Red Sea, the Swiss Canal, the Indian Ocean down to the ________________ Sea, the ___________  Strait of Malacca, the _____________ Strait of Balabac, Celebes Sea and what have you.  All these are basically under the _______________, political and economic _________ of the Islamic World.  And this is not the _____________ of the Central Asian region.  After the demise of the World System of Soviet Union, seven  (7) Independent Islamic countries emerged from there.  Until then,  nobody ever knew that the Islamic World is such a wide expanse in the world.  And according to the estimate, the Islamic World constitute between 1.3 to 1.5 billion out of the total population of the world.  And ______, we control huge resources.  Everywhere there is a Muslim land, you can be sure there is always either natural gas or oil.  Here in Philippines, you know very well, only in Muslim land that we have this gas.  We have found, I was with former President Ramos in that island in Palawan where he signed an agreement for 5 billion dollars investment to tap our gas resources.  2.5 trillion cubic feet to be delivered 300 kilometers away to as far as Bataan running through Batangas.  And the financier of the pipeline, 560 M dollars comes from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  And Saudi Arabia is very much represented here in this conference.  You see, the world cannot go without us, without the Islamic World. We are an integral part of humanity.  And even Western Civilization owed a great deal to us.  Western Science owed a great deal to us.  Western Philosophy owed a great deal to us.  Try to learn more about the World history and you will find that without Muslims and Islam, this world cannot go along.  So, now, we have here His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Mohammad Ali, the President of Islamic Development Bank (IDB).  He came here in a big entourage of potential investors in Mindanao, particularly in the areas of the Autonomy.  

 

DR. AHMED MOHAMMED ALI

            Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim.  I just would like to ask His Excellency Professor Nur Misuari to express our thanks and appreciation to all of you, for your interest in this conference.  As you know, this conference is being coordinated by the Government of the Philippines and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).  The main purpose of this conference is to give opportunity to the businessmen from member countries of the IDB to be acquainted with the potentialities of this region.  And to try to understand more about the possibilities of investment, also to be ___________ with the counterparts of businessmen and businesswomen in Mindanao in order to see how could they cooperate together in having eventually beneficial projects.  The IDB and its program to support the peace agreement and the development in Mindanao launched a program which included the allocation of 15 M dollars as a grant to support the studies as well as some social projects.  Another  one (1) Million also was allocated to provide technical assistance for training human resource development and the bank is confident that this business opportunity of businessmen from member countries of IDB with their counterparts here in Mindanao, they will able to generate useful projects which will share the development of Mindanao as well as to have __________ to all which will __________ the mutual interest of both parties.  That is the main purpose of this conference and we are very grateful to the Government of the Philippines and to the Local Government here and to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao as well as to the Mayor and administration of this city for holding this conference in this beautiful city.  And we look forward for constructive and fruitful working ________ during this 2-day conference.  Thank you very much.

Q. DR. ALI, YOU MENTIONED YOU HAVE A 16 M DOLLAR GRANT. WHAT PROJECT DOES THE BANK HAVE IN MIND FOR MINDANAO?

A. Of course, maybe you need a lot of study for the projects. Some of this amount will be allocated for feasibility studies.  Secondly, to finance a number of small projects like roads, hospitals, schools.  ______________ has talked to the IDB.  So I expect some of this money will be spent for schools, small roads, feasibility studies and also, 1Million will be spent for technical assistance training for human resource development and so forth.

Q. Addressed to Governor Misuari:  WE ARE VERY GLAD THAT THESE PERSONS COMING IN TO MINDANAO ESPECIALLY TO THE ARMM REGION AND ALSO TO ZAMBOANGA WHICH IS NOW HOSTING THE AFFAIR.  BUT DONíT YOU THINK THE UNSTABLE PEACE AND ORDER CONDITION WILL DRIVE AWAY THESE INVESTORS?  MAY I KNOW IF YOU HAVE ALREADY BRIEFED THESE POSSIBLE INVESTORS ON THE PRESENT UNSTABLE PEACE AND ORDER IN OUR REGION?

A. Well, I think, when you speak of instability, you are speaking in terms of those isolated areas  where there is still what we call crisis situation.  For instance, in the camps of our brothers in the MILF.  Whether they are peaceful or not, itís almost immaterial.  The government and the business people donít go to those places anyway.  And when you speak of the kidnappings for instance, I was just discussing with Secretary Zamora last night about the number of kidnappings here in Mindanao.  And we compare Mindanao with Binondo alone, a small space in Metro Manila.  Everyday there is kidnapping, but the problem is, they highlight the kidnapping here.  They put too much emphasis on kidnapping here.  For instance, here in this city, how many kidnappings have taken place so far?  Only one this past several months.  And this is an inside work according to the latest speculation now.  We are zeroing on that.  And the three (3) have been released through our efforts.  And the old lady and her maid was supposed to be released peacefully, but because of misunderstanding between other groups trying to get her released and our team, until now, they are still hiding in some places.  But we are re-establishing our contacts.  In Manila, in newspapers, the media is ___________ 

everyday.  Even inside big malls, kidnapping small child is taking place because of poverty,  because of this economic difficulties we are facing.  In the island of Jolo, for more than 2 years, there was no kidnapping at all since I signed the agreement.  The kidnapping took place in Sitangkai, very close to Sabah.  Unfortunately, because they will be in pursuit and did not know where to go, so, they brought it to the mountains of Jolo.  But they are not doing any like this, all about this.  There is no instability between us and the government.  There is total and complete peace.  I think you can _________ to that.  You cannot cite one instance where Armed Forces of the Government and Armed Forces of the MNLF have ever fought since I signed the peace agreement.  But the MILF, that is yes, thatís why they are still negotiating  because they are outside the _____ of the peace agreement.  For instance, go to Palawan.  You can compare Palawan with the most peaceful  parts of the globe.  It is even much peaceful than New York.  You go to Davao City, to General Santos City, to Cotabato City.  Soon after I signed the peace agreement, some people tried to create disturbances there.  But as soon as I entered the camps of Commander Mayangkang and Commander Black Moro, what happened? Has there been any kidnapping taken place in this place? No more.  Especially now that the city is under the control of our MNLF Mayor. The Secretary-General of the MNLF Central Committee is the new mayor now of Cotabato City.  Look, in those places, we are only victimized by people from outside, manipulating.  But I can  tell you, just a while ago, I was talking to one of the biggest investors from Japan  and a few days ago, I was in the mountains of Jolo with six (6) gentlemen coming from Japan.  And also, the other day, I accompanied 6 gentlemen from Japan  and Iím expecting big number of people from Korea.  I am visiting Beijing to arrange for the financing of the railroad.  You see,  we are only trying to exaggerate this but people outside donít.  They are coming in engrossed. But the old woman was taken from her own house  and there are a lot of speculations going on now.  The PNP officers will tell you eventually how this kidnapping was being done.

Q. WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY THAT IF THESE INVESTORS FROM IDB DELEGATION WILL NOW BE IN PLACE IN THE REGION, WEíLL HAVE A VERY STABLE PEACE AND ORDER IN THE REGION AND KIDNAPPING WILL NOW BE NO LONGER ÖÖÖ.?

A. (Misuari)  Kidnapping basically is an offshoot of poverty and impoverishment.  And you know why - - we are rich.  I think you can compare.  This is one of the richest parts of the globe, Mindanao and the islands.  I have gone places in Africa, in Europe, in all places.  I always open my eyes, made comparison with the potential of our homeland.  But why is it we are that poor?  Because we have been neglected and abandoned.  And all the wealth of Mindanao has been brought to Manila.  These high buildings in Metro Manila would not be possible without our resources?  What happened to our land forest? What happened to our mineral resources?  What happened to our fish and to everything?  Even our carrageen is exploited by  people outside.  We are not processing our own carrageen here.  We are just selling the raw materials to be processed in Cebu.  Before they started with one, there are now six processing plants in Cebu.  Where will they get their raw materials?  What about Luzon and Visayas?  If you know the figure, more than 70% of the raw materials are coming from Mindanao.  Without the raw materials from Mindanao, all those factories  will be dead.  You see, thatís why they are now transferring here.  But the problem here is this   we donít seem to understand that among the most prosperous countries, this kidnapping is not taking place.  Go for instance to Saudi Arabia, go to the Emirates, to Kuwait, to Libya, to Morocco, to Oman, even to poor countries like Islamic countries such as, Pakistan.  Is their kidnapping taking place there?  Only here because of the consequences of the war.  And they are thinking that this is the part  of their defiance of the law and the government because they did not want to join me.  When I signed the peace agreement, they said Ďnoí, brother Nur made mistake.  In fact, that was the arguement posed to me by brother Mayangkang and Black Moro.  I said, why are you continuing to defy the law and the government when as a matter of fact,  I have already signed the peace agreement.  They said, ďBrother Nur, you know, we donít trust the government.  They betrayed us during the time of Marcos and during the time of Corazon Aquino.  And we think that this government under Fidel V. Ramos will also betray usĒ.  I said, you are wrong.  Let us give peace a maximum chance.  You see, without Nur Misuari  and the MNLF,  you from the media, do you think we can have peace in the Philippines?  Do you think the NPA would have been as weak as they are now, without their accommodation here?  The strength of the NDF and the NPA were based on our struggle here. Two-thirds of the Armed Forces of the Philippines were deployed here.  So, they were able to operate.  Without the MNLF now fighting, is there fighting in Luzon and in the Visayas? Nothing because they cannot fight anymore.  Without us absorbing the front of the ________ of the Armed Forces.  2/3 of the Armed Forces, sometimes even more were deployed here.  Thatís why you have peace in Luzon and Visayas because as an offshoot of the peace here.  In fact, without the MNLF, if the MNLF will join hands with the MILF and all these other groups, what do you think will happen?  How many million Christian families will have to abandon their homes here like before, remember?  How many fled to Siquijor, to Iloilo? Tens of thousands of families left Mindanao.  Thatís why Iím doing this, inviting  business investors so that our people will be satisfied. They will not _____ the government anymore even if the government has not done much of _______ businesses.  With these businesses, we can address the problem of poverty here in Mindanao.  This is the strategy here.  Let the government _______ on their commitment. No problem.  Letís handle the peace agreement ourselves by asking people like His Excellency and our brothers from the Islamic World to come and bring their money.  They have money in Europe, London, France, Germany, America and in all places.  They have hundreds of billions of dollars deposited in banks.  If we can attract them here,  peso will be strengthened. Now, under my administration alone, how much money have we attracted already?  One, do you know the 40,000 hectares of banana plantation we are already exporting to Saudi Arabia?  And His Excellency was telling us last night that the second biggest producer of food in the Middle East wants to plant in Mindanao  because they know after a laboratory examination, Mindanao soil is the best soil for banana in the world?  Two,  do you know that we are now about to plant sugar  in over 25,000 hectares of land?  And  do you know that I was the one who signed the MOA in _________.  This is an investment of 263 Million dollars.  From Switzerland, ask my detractors how much money they have brought in to Mindanao.  And now, we are about to commence  by 1999 the construction of 200 kilometers of one of the finest railroads in the world.  No money coming from us.  No cash from us, all coming from outside.  And many projects are coming.  The Agus is about to be started.  We are bringing in at least 350 Million American dollars for investment, 263 Million for the sugar central.  How many hundred millions of dollars for the bananas? This 350 Million at least for the Agus III and the railroad and all that.  You see, ask my detractors.  How many of them ________ money to Mindanao.  I am building a 10-story building there.  People are wagging their tongues.  I go around the world asking/looking for money to build something beautiful for Mindanao people.  That will house our dream town.  That will house DOTís one-stop shop granted by the Philippine government to me.  That will house this business people, the chamber of commerce. I am going to offer them places there.  This will house many many offices there.  Ten-story building.  That is going to be the _______ there.  I got money from outside.  I am unlike other people who get money from Mindanao  but they build tall buildings in Luzon, in Metro Manila and all those places.  That is the difference between those people and me. I bring businessmen and businesswomen here.  And this is not for me or for the Muslims alone.  This is for the Muslims, for the Christians and for the Highlanders.  So, more Christian brothers are invited to come and do much activities with them.  If they can tie -up with each other, so the Christians can engage with our Muslim brothers in partnership with them.  And they will bring the money from the outside world.  And Iím sure this partnership will not mean bringing  money here ___________ by Saudi Arabia.  It is the Saudis who will invest here.  Do you like it or not?

Q. (For Dr. AHMAD MOHAMMAD ALI) IS PEACE AND ORDER PROBLEM IN MINDANAO NOT A PROBLEM TO YOUR GROUP COMING TO INVEST HERE IN MINDANAO?

R.   Of course, the people read the media.  ___________________ so people want to come many times and see for themselves.  So, Iím sure, when they come here and weigh the situation and make their judgment.  But the explanation given by Brother Misuari, Iím sure, it will be considered by the people here and Iím sure, they will appreciate what he said.  But definitely,  with regards to the international media, of course, there will be ________________.  They want to come here and to get explanation to be sure that their investment will be safe.  Because this is natural for  the investors to be sure of the security of their investment. 

Q. 1. WHAT ARE THE PRIORITIZED AREAS IN SOUTHERN MINDANAO THAT IDB PLANS TO DEVELOP MORE?

2.   ARE YOU PLANNING TO FORM TIES WITH CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS OR COMMUNITIES WHO ARE ALSO HAVING THEIR INVESTMENTS HERE IN SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES?

3.   CLARIFICATION ABOUT THE ISLAMIC INVESTMENT.  IS THAT FOR EXPANSION OF ISLAMIC CORPORATIONS OR ARE YOU GIVING A CHANCE FOR THE MINDANAOANS TO HAVE THIS DIRECT AND FREE HAND IN MANAGING THESE INVESTMENTS?

A. (Mohammad Ali)  The priority of the Islamic Development Bank is education.  Thatís why, one time, the IDB has been involved in providing some assistance in the area of education in Mindanao as well as scholarship program  for students in Philippines.  About 271 students are benefited from the scholarship program of IDB which started around 10 years ago.  _______________ is the human resource development especially education  so far as IDB is concern.  But so far as the priority  for the businessmen, of course, itís up to them because the ________ of this conference is to bring the businessmen from IDB member countries to their counterparts here.  And they themselves make the priority.  IDB of course, is in the position to make priorities for the investors.  They see for themselves and make their own priorities.  With regards to the investment, Iím sure, the investors who came here want to do a good business.  So, Iím sure, if they find good partners, whether they are Christians or Muslims, they will do business with them because they are doing businesses all over the world..  They are having business in Europe, in United States, they are not confining their investments or partnership with only Muslims.  They are doing business all over the world.  So, Iím sure, what are they looking for is for some good  projects and good partners, an honest partner.  When they find what they want,  they are confident they will work with anybody  who will give them the best opportunity and provide them with more sound proposals.

Q. (For Misuari)  GOVERNOR, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT ARE THE INVESTMENT INCENTIVES YOU ARE OFFERING TO THESE PROSPECT INVESTORS?

A. Well, you know, we are basically ______________ by the ground rules set up by the government.  The government has been engaged in an effort to attract businesses from all over the world.  And not only that, they have been exerting efforts to convince investors to stay put because of the crisis that has affected the country on several occasions.  Some of the business groups in Manila have been transferring while new ones were coming in and the government has been making incentives.  As a matter of fact,  I understand  that they are now thinking about relaxing the rules and the ownership of lands for something of that sort.  Because until now, foreign investors cannot own any piece of land in the Philippines unlike for instance in the commonwealth countries where they can own.  But I understand, the administration of President Estrada is trying now trying to study the wisdom of relaxing some of the stringent regulations and the utilization of the land by foreign investors.  This is the important thing.  And about the taxation or any, I think all the agreement between us and the government is like this.  In my capacity as Governor of ARMM and as Chairman of SPCPD, I can invite any kind of businesses, of course, legal businesses to Mindanao especially to my area of jurisdiction.  Except on one condition when it involves bank guarantee.  This was the reason why I found difficulty in getting this sugar central established during the previous administration because they were demanding for bank guarantee.   And the administration was unwilling to do that.  But recently, after the meeting with Sec. Robert Aventajado, the flagship Secretary of President Estrada, we went to Switzerland prompted by the information that I gave to him because the investors from Switzerland were telling me, ďWe are ready. You can inspect us if you like.  We have packaged the financial parts of the deal.  So, I told him _____________________ to Switzerland and when we returned, he requested for  a meeting with me.  So  I went to visit him at Pacific ______________ and I asked him this question: ďWhat was your finding?Ē  He said, ďAll systems go.  We are now ready.Ē  I said,  ďHow did you manage?  How can we overcome this very difficult situation they are demanding for.  Are we ready to give them bank guarantee.Ē  He said, ďNo, we are introducing a formula. A 60-40 formula.  60% bank guarantee to be shouldered by the government and 40% in the form of ________________ to be shouldered by the investors.Ē  Although according to one business group from Korea, they said, ďWhy donít we do this?  60% from the national government and the 40% will be guaranteed by the chairman.Ē  I said, I cannot guarantee.  They said,  what we need is only your signature.  That will mean 40% of the bank guarantee.  Just like that.  That means  they will make me the collateral for this.  But anyway, Iím ready.  We can take risk.  If you are not a risk taker, you have no business in entering businesses.  Business always involves some risks.  Thank you.

Q. MR. CHAIRMAN, MAY WE KNOW THE POSITION OF THE MNLF    VIS-A-VIS THE MILF.  WILL THE MNLF  __________?  CAN THEY GO INTO  A _____________  IN GOVERNANCE?  CAN THEY GO HAND IN HAND WITH THE MNLF IN ATTAINING ULTIMATE PEACE  TO THEIR OBJECTIVE? IS THE MNLF OPEN?

A. Well, thatís a very good question because I think, you are aware of my declaration time and again that it is our wish that the government will succeed in their peace talks with the MILF brothers.  Because that is necessary if we are to expand the dimension of peace in Mindanao.  I think that is very clear among the media people.  Now, are we willing to accommodate them?  Why not, in the higher interest of Mindanao and its people and of peace.  Why not.  Let us be flexible if we can tolerate.  ISLAM is a very tolerant religion.  I believe it is the most tolerant religion in the world.  I have challenged people to tell me whether they have anything that can approximate the verses from the Holy Qurían.  The Holy Qurían says, ďYour religion is yours.  Let there be no compulsion in religion.Ē  And when we speak of religion, we donít mean merely praying to God, staying in the mosque. No.  Religion to us embraces the totality of human existence.  That is the essential characteristic of Islam.  LA IQRA-O BIDDIIN.  Let there be no compulsion in religion.  Is there any religion in the world that can ___________ this.  We are very tolerant.  And in fact, we are the most successful in bridging this racial problem.  Have you ever found any racial discrimination in the Islamic World?  Never.  We are the one teaching the world how to _____________.  The most important to ALLAH is _________ because we are confident that we belong to a true religion, to a powerful civilization.  We can co-exist.  But some people are afraid because they are possibly standing on shaky grounds.  But Misuari can exist with anyone.  Among my bestfriends, one of my deputies that I recommended to the President is Reverend  Cervesa.  The Speaker of the Consultative Assembly that I recommended to the President for approval is Father Mercado, the President of Catholic University in Cotabato City.  The indigenous people, their representative was with me in Manila last night at the Presidential table along with His Excellency.  I can co-exist with them.  As a matter of fact, these indigenous people from 5 or 6 regions in Mindanao have declared me as their supreme Datu, to  show that they can accept me and I can also accept them.  There is a mutuality here of acceptance.  We are very tolerant.  As a matter of fact, we cannot understand  why some people are so intolerant and so inflexible. Thank you.

Q. From Sulu (Nashra) :  ADDRESSED TO CHAIRMAN MISUARI.   WHAT IS YOUR HONEST OPINION ABOUT THE ISSUE  OF PLEBISCITE FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO?   WILL THIS STILL PUSH THROUGH ACCORDING  TO THE TIME TABLE STIPULATED IN THE PEACE AGREEMENT?  WHAT IS THE STAND OF THE MNLF REGARDING THIS ISSUE?

A. Thank you.  Thatís a very good question.   First of all, the timetable is all over now.  According to the stipulation, we were supposed to have referendum in October this year.  That referendum was not held because of the failure of the Philippine Government, our counterpart in the peace agreement to amend the Organic Act.  Before a referendum could be held, it is important that there be a new Organic Act.  That new Organic  Act has not been done by the Congress.  So, the Congress now has failed.  And since the referendum  was the result of tripartite negotiation, MNLF on one the hand and the government on the other  with the OIC represented by  the Ministerial Committee negotiating on the terms of the referendum, now, I am telling the Philippine Government, my counterpart, in fact, I was sitting side by side with  His Excellency Ambassador Yan, who was my counterpart in the peace talks, I said, one, there is a need  for us to come together and re-negotiate the timetable or the cut-off period for the referendum. Number two, I think you are aware of the fact that by virtue of commitment of His Excellency President Estrada during the campaign period, commitment to our Mindanao covenant, to our Mindanao Agenda, they are now preparing the organization of  a committee or a commission of 25.  To pinpoint fundamental issues in the present constitution in preparation for the holding of a Constitutional Convention.  Now, among the issues to be tackled will be, whether or not, to go regional, with respect to our Senate.  Because we demanded that it must be regionalized.  And  Estrada, the candidate, said, I will  definitely do that.  And in our meeting with His Excellency President Estrada, our last visitation with him in Cagayan de Oro City and General Santos City, he was very emphatic in saying, ďIím going to call a Constitutional Convention and that, I am definite in my determination to regionalize the Senate.Ē  The only problem we want to raise will be, ďAre we going to have one Vice-President for Mindanao and how many senators must come from us?Ē  I have demanded for 24 senators.  And I said,  we have 24 here, and then, we will allow them to have 20 in Visayas and 28 in Luzon.  But the formula of the President  is, with respect to the 24 senators now we have, he said, we will give 8 to Mindanao, 8 to Visayas and 8 to Luzon.  And if you decide to increase by 2 or by 3, therefore, we get 1/3, they get 1/3 (Luzon) and they get 1/3 (Visayas).  And you might to ask why, and Iíd like to tell you.  I want 72 senators for the country because when we had these 24 senators, in the beginning we had only 17 to 18 million population and now, we have 75 million.  Why?  Number two, Spain has 36 million population and they have 150 senators.  Australia has 18 million population and they have 75 senators.  Belgium has 10 million population and they have 75 senators.  In United States of America,  every state has 2 senators.  You multiply by 50 or 51, they have that much.  Now, we have 75 million population, therefore,  we are entitled to at least 72. 24 in Mindanao, 24 in Luzon and 24 in Visayas.  Thank you.

CHAIRMAN MISUARIíS CLOSING STATEMENT

     Well, I would like to salute you for the very interesting questions you raised.   I hope you understand if I answer your questions the I do, it is because I am very sincere and I have ever respect for you.  You can count me as one of those who really respect you.  You just donít know how much I respect the media because, you know, I used to write myself.  I used to edit before I went underground our small magazine where I placed some of the important ideas that guided us in our struggle.  Also, in the Philippine collegian, I am very much familiar with the importance of the freedom of the press.  You are very important.  So, donít allow anyone to distort you.  And if you donít mind, donít allow anyone to corrupt you  because that will be harmful to our society, to the future of the country.  You must have a very very honorable media.  That way,  you can contribute towards the larger goal of our country and our future.  Thank you.

 

 

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