Every city conceived
within our Republic undertaking,
my brothers and sisters of the Promise,
is a city built upon a hill - meant to shine forth!
The Strategy paper I am working to complete for the "Defense of the Republic of the Philippines", draw its main lessons from the Battle of Manila. This is a national strategy of the conventional defense that includes a theater-level doctrine of joint (or inter-service) and coalition operations (Integrated Defense Battle or IDB) intended to accomplish one thing - to fight the common defense of our cities in wartime (as well as during times of extraordinary duress) and in the conduct of the defense, effectively possess the means to shelter and preserve their collective life (preparation of the defense).
For the life of our cities
is the well-spring of our sovereignty.
(They are places in time
busy with the actual labor of the Dream -
where each our dreams become embraced
by the greater dreaming of Country.)
Indeed, times have changed, the earth and the heavens have shifted - but after seeing Manila burn in my remembrance, after seeing the stream of terrified refugees, after all that war - I do not think it right anymore to willingly (strategically) abandon our cities in the press of the fight and leave our population naked and shivering against enemy aggression and the random brutality of war.
Every one of our cities, in this Republic, were never meant to burn.
And so -
I hope and I pray that this stand-off in Zamboanga is swiftly and decisively resolved.
Please - (1) do not harm the hostages, (2) do not harm innocents and those on the ground who are working for the common good - the press, emergency workers, first responders, (3) do not harm the structures of the City, (4) do not prolong the battle, (5) do not recklessly exhaust all avenues of political resolution and diplomatic mediation.
There is no such thing in our vocabulary as collateral damage: All will be accounted for.