as a nation - when we forget,
it is worse than when we knew nothing.
For when we knew nothing,
there was nothing to forget.
But when we forget,
we are always divided against something.
Worse, it is always something
we should never have forgotten.
(Preconditions to the Peace Process)
Peace, I salute you.
This is for all our peacekeepers
on the ground of our Land of the Morning
- military as well as civilian -
Muslim, Christian, and Lumad
who are all Filipinos to the very last
and brothers and sisters of the Promise
who continue to hold on to the civic peace
as citizens and human beings, one to the other,
as well as to all our peacemakers
met from across all the sides
of the one common negotiating table -
Peace is prologue to national prosperity!
But there are preconditions to peace.
For peace without clear preconditions
in a conflict involving armed struggle is futile.
For the spirit of War must first be bound by law
and the evil of war formally recognized by all concerned
- in order to strengthen the peace process -
and to effectively break these seemingly endless cycles
of violence and retaliation.
First of all,
there should be no question
about the legitimacy of our one Republic of the Philippines.
To question this is to question the necessity of the entire peace process.
It undoes the ground - upon which -
the parties to the one peace process
are working to build, through all adversity,
an enduring monument to the triumph of our nation.
These are preconditions to the peace process
of which there must never be any doubt.
It is therefore,
the initiative of the lawful government
of the one Filipino nation to pursue or not to pursue negotiations
according to common good of the sovereign Filipino people.
The GPH is not an equal party to the process.
It is the initiating party and let us always remember this:
The GPH is the significant party - the most responsible party -
without which this conflict shall continue unabated.
Foreign mediation is only supplementary and not central to the process.
Our peace process is therefore,
something that is begun by the incumbent Chief Executive
as a rightful exercise of the mandate accorded to his (or her) Office
by the electorate of the nation.
It is therefore,
the prime responsibility of the GPH
to set clear goals and common expectations - as well as -
to be unyielding in the implementation of the mechanisms
that will ensure that every goal is sufficiently met
and every expectation well-founded
and ultimately proven.
There should be adherence to the singular vision of peace.
There should be justice in its approach - in spirit as well as in form.
There should be an ever growing reciprocity of trust.
there should be absoluteness of intent
- to succeed in the attempt -
as well as an unyielding sincerity
- being one without guile or mental reservation -
among the sides from across the one negotiating table
who represent broader interests from among their constituency
as well as carry the common appeal of the one Filipino nation.
There should be continuity and solemn remembrance...
It is the spirit of War - first and foremost -
that must be identified, weakened, rejected, and removed
prior to the obtaining of the vision of the political peace.
There should be universal acceptance
of the foreign nature of the spirit of War
and a common rejection of the manifold evils
it both inflicts and inspires in the nation;
evils made plain and manifest
to our common witnesses
by these unending cycles of pain and loss,
endless battle, poverty and exhaustion -
a sure lineage of ignominy and defeat - for any nation.
There should be a broader understanding of the national peace...
there should be citizenship with fidelity;
a faith among each ourselves that in the end,
the bottom line is that we are all Filipinos to the end
each being individually gifted by God
with one particular nationhood
- the grace to belong -
to a nation that is our nation whatever the name.
there should be a proper well-regard
for the crying needs of our common peoples
and a just and abiding recognition - in all of us -
of the value of the life of our nation.
There should be purity of arms...
- selah -
- in the aftermath of recent events -
I think our President Noy
who is our legitimate Chief Executive
and elect by a quorum of the electorate of the nation
has sacrificed enough personal credibility,
spent enough political capital,
and has shown enough good will and good faith
to merit a show of reciprocity from the MILF:
They should surrender the murderers of our troops.
- selah -
should be just as fearless
in launching a formal review
of the lapses
that has led to the incident at al-Barka.
19 is too much...
This is my personal appeal to you -
My brothers and sisters of the Promise,
Let us not allow this recent outbreak of violence to shatter our hard fought good will as Filipinos and human beings, one to another, nor steal from us the bright future we all aspire for and truly deserve - the politics of division, once it has exhausted itself, shall look to us for help and consolation.
When that time comes, if we too have lost our guidance - what then?
If we do not hold our ground against the rising of the tide, whither shall our Country be found at the flowing of the tide, when the darkness recedes once again?
If the stars themselves become lost in the midst of the night - what then?
We shall truly be lost.