BEIJING, China – President Banigno S. Aquino III joins fellow world leaders for the Leaders Retreat meeting during the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) at the Hongyan Hall of the International Conference Center (ICC) on Tuesday (November 11, 2014). Working with this year’s theme: "Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership." APEC members have developed extensive and in-depth consensus on Advancing Regional Economic Integration, Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth, and Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity and Infrastructure Development. (MNS photo)

BEIJING, China – President Banigno S. Aquino III joins fellow world leaders for the Leaders Retreat meeting during the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting (AELM) at the Hongyan Hall of the International Conference Center (ICC) on Tuesday (November 11, 2014). Working with this year’s theme: “Shaping the Future through Asia-Pacific Partnership.” APEC members have developed extensive and in-depth consensus on Advancing Regional Economic Integration, Promoting Innovative Development, Economic Reform and Growth, and Strengthening Comprehensive Connectivity and Infrastructure Development. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Recent activities by armed groups in Mindanao will not stop the government from pushing through with its development plans in the region, President Benigno Aquino III said Monday.

In a speech, Aquino said his administration will continue undertaking projects in Mindanao, such as the multimillion-peso Basilan circumferential road, despite security threats, including the Abu Sayyaf.

“Mayroon pa ring nagnanais na hindi ito matuloy; silang mga nakikinabang sa kaguluhan at kawalan ng oportunidad sa komunidad. Hindi natin sila hahayaan sa kanilang pansariling agenda,” Aquino said during the Department of National Defense’s (DND) 75th anniversary celebration.

The President made this statement two weeks after six soldiers securing the construction of the Basilan circumferential road were killed in an ambush by suspected Abu Sayyaf members.

Aquino cited the benefits of completing the 80-kilometer Basilan road, including facilitating trade and travel. The road seeks to connect nearly half of the province’s main highways.

“Kasama rito ang mga mangingisda at magsasakang mas mabilis nang maihahatid ang kanilang ani patungong pamilihan, at ang mga biyaherong mas maaliwalas na ang magiging paglakbay,” he said.

Gayundin, sa mas maayos na kalsada, mas mabilis na makakaresponde ang ating mga unipormadong hanay sa oras ng pangangailangan,” Aquino added.

Aquino earlier ordered a relentless hunt against members of the Abu Sayyaf, which is supposedly getting logistical support from the global militant Islamist group al Qaeda.(MNS)