IN PHOTOS: Roxas campaigns in Cotabato, visits MILF’s Camp Darapanan

Rappler.com
The administration standard-bearer talks about his plans for the peace process

TALK OF PEACE. Mar Roxas visits the MILF headquarters in Camp Darapanan. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II brought his campaign down south on Friday, April 1, as he campaigned in Cotabato City and the province of North Cotabato.

The administration bet’s key message during his visit was clear: his plan for the ongoing peace process and his commitment to continuing the long-awaited peace deal his party mate and President Benigno Aquino III started.

Roxas waves to the crowd as he arrives during a campaign rally which also celebrated the last day of the Women's Month at the Brgy. Kalantungan Covered Court in Cotabato City on Thursday. Lito Boras/Rappler.com

In Cotabato City, Roxas attended a gathering of women’s groups in Barangay Kalantungan, once a witness to war and conflict. In North Cotabato, Roxas attended multi-sectoral gatherings in the towns of Pikit and Kabacan.

Roxas was accompanied by local allies led by Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) regional Vice Governor Haroun Alrashid Lucman Jr. 

Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler.com

The highlight of the Thursday sortie was a forum with the Friends of Peace, an organization composed of religious groups, academics, and civil society groups convened by Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo. (READ: In Cotabato, Roxas asked to explain ‘Muslim na mananakop’ line)

Roxas talks about the peace process in Mindanao during a dialogue with the Friends of Peace at the Clergy House in Cotabato City on Thursday. Photo by Lito Boras/Rappler.com

After the meet, Roxas proceeded to Camp Darapanan, headquarters of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The administration candidate met with the MILF’s Central Committee to talk about the ongoing peace process. (READ: ‘Bigger chance’ for BBL to pass under Roxas?)

The ARMM region, according to a Laylo opinion poll, is predominantly for Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Some 45% of those surveyed said they would vote for the lone Mindanaoan in the presidential race. He is trailed by Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and then Roxas.

The latest survey commissioned by ABS-CBN and released on Friday, April 1, again shows Duterte dominating Mindanao.

Cotabato City is part of the SOCCSKSARGEN region but is also the regional center of the ARMM. – Rappler.com