Thursday, December 23, 2010

Will the guns fall silent this Yuletide?

Will the guns fall silent this Yuletide?

by Katleah Iskre Ulrike

Last December 16, the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, as well as the National Democratic Front, in the spirit of the yuletide season, declared a suspension of military activities around the country.

This kind of act, known much to everybody as "cease fire", shows that there should be a truce, although temporary, to celebrate the entire season, and perhaps to have a peaceful dialogue between two warring sides, paving way for future reforms and agreements for this nation trying to recover from the ashes of the war.

Despite the truce lies enough tendency for the rebel's staunch enemy to create reprisals, psywar operations, anything just to resume the conflicts within the holiday season. To others, they would think of that the rebels started this hell-of-a-kind thing over, thanks to media I guess in demonizing-especially when it comes to actions that is, out of self-defence or punishing certain despotic officials willing to disrupt the conflict for goddamn sake of bonuses.

Secondly, how come despite the truce there are roaming soldiers in the field instead of staying in the barracks? Their enemies, in respecting the ceasefire rather stayed in their encampments instead, isn't it obvious that there are stubborn people who doesn't respect the policy declaring the cessation of hostilities during the Yuletide season? Yes, they may be suffered much from defeats, and seems that they want reprisals from their losses.

I even notice that despite the ceasefire lies arrests of officials as last December 17, police operatives arrested NDFP's Pedro Codaste and his companions at a checkpoint in Bayugan town, Agusan del Sur. According to the statement, it said that Police officers justified their action by claiming that Codaste has standing warrants for his arrest. They gave no explaination for the basis of the arrest of his companions. How come in the middle of the ceasefire do so? Isn't it a violation of the agreement issued last December 7 and stated that:

"Officers and members of the AFP and PNP who have no serious liability other than their membership in their armed units shall not be subjected to arrest and punitive actions. They may be allowed individually to enter the territory of the people's democratic government to make personal visits to relatives and friends."

If so, why instead of respecting the agreements they set up checkpoints and arresting revolutionary forces during the ceasefire period? Isn't it obvious that the police and military are preventing the revolutionary forces, especially unarmed ones from enjoying free movement in order for them to visit or have access to their families and loved ones during the ceasefire period?

After all, to the military, it is a purely military matter as they conduct much attempts to end the conflict-with or without ceasefire, agreements and the like. As what Gazmin said:
"They are trained for war..."

As the series of operations continue even this kind of season, as evidenced by the actions laid, will the guns fall silent this Yuletide?