Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wamos Ganando la Paz? Why are we still striving for Peace?

Vamos Ganando la Paz?

Why are we still striving for Peace?

a writeup by Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro

Since 1896 (or even earlier), the Pilipino people courageously fought for the sake of social freedom, justice and peace in the community. These struggle, even until today, remains relevant in the minds of the people, particularly those who toil and endure the painstaking work upon to them.

However, oppressive elements continue to prevail in the society. Through the system itself, different operations, ranging from black propaganda to liquidation policies, legal terrorism destroys the peaceful atmosphere enjoyed by the people for many years. From the Spanish to the present day, these oppressive elements also wanted the concept of "peace" as theirs than to the rest of the peoples, not only in the Philippines, but also around the world-like the Fascistic, Imperio-Capitalist actions of the United States and its cohorts scrambling for power and its peoples submission to their will.

Sadly to say, these elements tried enough to destroy people's peace and impose their interpretation. They aren't thinking more of peace but of submission, of surrender and eventual execution. Back in 1946, the squadron 77 were surrendered and gave up their arms to the authorities for the sake of peace, but then the ones who spoke of peace and reconciliation killed those who gave up their arms. Isn't it obvious for a reactionary to do that kind of thing? Ordering those who resist against the system to surrender only to be killed by the same being, followed by making a propaganda condemning this kind of atrocity?

Even nowadays, as the current Aquino administration, like its predecessors, remained aloof to the resumption of the peace process and instead pursuing Fascistic policies in the name of National Security. Their allies, like those of Alcover's clique even assailed and like its military allies, creating sorts of propaganda trying to destroy the people's struggle for social peace and condemning them as terrorists or as criminals trying to destroy the rotten order.

As according to the NDF, in its statement urging the Government of the Republic to seriously implement the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees or JASIG, it said:

"President Aquino himself has publicly shown a negative attitude towards the NDFP by rebuffing the offer of a courtesy call on him by Chairperson Jalandoni and claiming impotency over the prosecution (an arm of the GRP executive) in matters involving blatantly false charges and other violations of human rights. Such claim has only emboldened the GRP military and police forces to misuse the prosecution arm of the executive and in doing worse even against those protected by the JASIG.

The Aquino regime allows the culture of impunity to prevail in its military and police forces. It refuses to conduct investigations of the human rights violations under the Arroyo regime and seems impotent in stopping the extra-judicial killings (22 since Aquino came to power) and the indiscriminate aerial and artillery bombings of communities, gunfire strafing of civilian houses, occupation of schools and health centers, and hamletting and food blockade that have caused massive displacement of people in the countryside."

Like Arroyo, their distaste in implementing JASIG even tolerates the repression of non-combatants under the NDF, such as consultants and other staff. Enforced disappearances, imprisonment without warrants, even summary executions and condemnations as terrorists and criminals further deteriorates dreams of peace despite wanting to resume the peace processes. Speaking of resumption, what are they really speaking of? Peace or Surrender?

As according to the writeup, urging to dismantle the stumbling blocks in the peace processes, it said:

"Justice must be meted for the abductions of Leo Velasco, Prudencio Calubid, Rogelio Calubad and other NDFP personnel. Six other NDFP personnel who are in prison must be released immediately. The arrest warrants issued for NDFP negotiating panel chair Ka Luis Jalandoni, NDFP chief political consultant Ka Jose Ma. Sison and others who have been slapped with trumped-up charges prevent them from freely participating in the peace talks. So long as the GRP does not issue a categorical statement on its adherence to the JASIG, Jalandoni's plans to come home to the Philippines in December to hold consultations with the revolutionary forces and other sectors remain suspended."

In summing these, the repressive measures made are aimed primarily at those who oppose the system whether as activists or as armed combatants. The members of the Morong 43, even some of the political prisoners got a trial, but then, they are still branded as "enemy combatants", worse, as "criminals", "terrorists" and held indefinitely in military prisons without access to lawyers, enduring psychological and physical torture by the enemy. And despite change in governance, and the economy turns sour and more resources are drained away from education and social services, there will be a stronger need for the elites and the military to control the Philippines by force, courtesy of the Human Security Act and other related decrees suppressing the basic rights of the people, same as the Military Operations that resulted to direct killing of civilians, hamletting and other similar tasks in the name of "National Security." Only sustained education, organizing, and mobilizing can stop that.

So as progressives, National Democrats, Anti-Fascists, we need to keep fighting for people's peace. In the short term our goal is to limit the damage of this war, to free political prisoners, surface the disappeared and to resume the peace process between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. In the long term we must fight to derail the enemy's attempt, both the reactionary system and even the U. S. Imperialists to destroy the growing movement for social peace and National Democracy. That is not a mere hysterical JUST rhetoric like those who condemn those who resist against the system as terrorists or as criminals. The administration’s national security strategy documents, from the earlier Oplan Cadena de Amor to nowadays Oplan Bantay laya make it clear that the goal is to make sure no one can challenge the reactionary government, and even the United States Imperialists continuously occupying the Philippines.

We cannot allow those who disrupt the processes to pursue their ambitions to destroy, disrupt and discontinue the peace processes in the name of security and condemning those who resist against the rotten social order as terrorist. If we stay committed to the struggle for peace and justice through the peace process, another possibility for a cessation of hostilities is possible-all based on decrees safeguarding human life, liberty, and dignity.

The choice is clear. The ones within the Government remained against those who opposed their reactionary policies, and they are preparing anything to disrupt the struggle for peace, but despite their "victories", they are destined to lose, but for those who continue fighting for genuine social peace, justice, and prosperity, there is still a nation to win.