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Sulu Mindanao’s next trade hub?

Concerned groups in Sulu yesterday urged the national government to  transform the province into a new business hub in Mindanao as it can  achieve the economic development of Zamboanga.
The Save Sulu Movement (SSM), a group composed of businessmen, academicians and village elders, said an effective way to  develop the province is to declare martial law in at least six of its municipalities.
The move, they said, could stop group Abu Sayyaf Group from  sowing terror in the province.
ASG is believed to be cuddled by local government officials from the highest elected executives  down to barangay chairmen.
“We are lobbying with Congressman Munir Arbison of the province’s second district to make a privilege speech leading to an inquiry on the possible links between the politicians and the ASG for 15 years now.
And we are equally lobbying at the Senate for the same investigation in aid of legislation. We are seeking audience with President Duterte if necessary,” said  Octavio Dinampo, SSM spokesman and a former kidnap victim of ASG.
SSM founder Temogen Tulawie said he has affidavits of former kidnap victims and negotiators who could prove the connivance of local officials with ASG-led kidnappings.
The group got such information from former Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Ricardo Visaya who now heads the National Irrigation Administration.
SSM said a law should be passed ordering ransom payment as a criminal act and that conniving officials should be criminally liable.  
Despite getting negative media exposures, SSM said Sulu continues to draw attention because of its abundant supply of pearls, crabs and even batik products that are exported to other countries.
 

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