DAVAO CITY - President Rodrigo Duterte's peace adviser urged businessmen on Tuesday to invest in conflict zones to help uplift the lives of those caught in decades of fighting.
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza cited Maguindanao province where a banana plantation was set up notwithstanding the long-running Muslim rebellion that has claimed thousands of lives and stunted growth in the region.
"Simultaneously, we must address both peace and development," Dureza told a consultative forum with businessmen here.
"If you ask investors, especially they are the most cowardly group, why are you not investing in these areas? Because there is (conflict)," he said.
Duterte is engaging both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and Moro National Liberation Front in peace talks. On Monday, he gave both groups seats in a transition body that will propose a new autonomy law in Mindanao.