Philippine president's challenges

Aquino vows to renew fight against rebels but residents call for a political solution.

    Noynoy Aquino, the new Philippine president, is renewing efforts to end long-running conflicts with Muslim separatists and communist rebels in the country.

    The under-manned and ill-equipped military says it needs to modernise and beef up its numbers, and the president has vowed to pursue modernisation.

    But the Muslim separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has been in peace talks with the government for a decade, says it is still hopeful for positive change.

    And residents in Maguindanao province hope the new government does not just put its money into guns, but also honours its commitment to build schools, hospitals, and create jobs.

    Only a political solution, they say, will bring about lasting peace.

    Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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