Aquino visits atomic bomb memorial

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2014 10:30 AM | Updated as of Jun 25 2014 08:48 PM

HIROSHIMA - Less than two months to the day the US dropped an atomic bomb on this city in a bid to end the Second World War some 69 years ago, President Aquino toured the facilities of the A-Bomb Dome and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park during his visit to Japan.

Aquino offered a bouquet of flowers at the Cenotaph of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The President is in Hiroshima to attend the Japan International Cooperation Agency International Conference on the consolidation for peace for Mindanao.

Hiroshima hosted the conference which discussed the inroads for peace in Mindanao.

For Aquino, the trip is symbolic as a reminder of the worst that could happen when there is no peace.

"Whenever it seems that the path to peace is filled with so many obstacles, when our spirits are tested and our faith in the processes are shaken, those of us who are in a position to make decisions must remember what happened here in Hiroshima, in Nagasaki, and in the many places that have faced and are now experiencing conflict. If we falter, it is the innocent who will pay the ultimate price," he said.

Aquino assured participants that that his government will do what it can to ensure there will be free elections in the Bangsamoro in Mindanao in 2016.

This is a key component of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro the government signed with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end the secessionist movement in Mindanao.

Early in his presidency, President Aquino met with Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chair Al Haj Murad in Japan to reinvigorate the peace negotiations that ultimately led to the CAB.