Gen. Victor Felix: A ‘happy winner’-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Sunday, September 2, 2012
LAST August 22, I was invited at Balay Mindanaw to attend a testimonial dinner in honor of Gen. Victor Felix, commander of the 4th IB in Camp Evangelista, who at his age of 56, is forced to retire from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Victor and Felix are two Latin words which mean winner and happy, respectively. I believe Gen. Felix is true to his name, a ‘happy winner’.
Under his command, the 4th Civil-Military Operations (Kasaligan) Battalion has been set up to carry out the new Oplan Bayanihan program of the military under the administration of President Aquino.
This program is the counterpart of the infamous Oplan Bantay Laya of the past administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Its motto is: Peace not war, in dealing with the insurgency problem.
My good friend, Col. Eugene Osias, is the Commanding Officer of this program and the 4ID spokesperson.
Gen. Felix, during his time as commander of the 4th Infantry Battalion in Camp Evangelista, has been a warrior for peace in Mindanao and though he hasn’t won yet that battle, for sure, he is on the road to become a ‘happy winner’.
In one of my previous columns, I wrote about the topic peace not war with respect to the communist insurgency in Mindanao. In that column, I have suggested that the peace negotiations with the NDF in Norway must be called off and the negotiations should be done on Philippine soil and on a regional basis.
We here in Mindanao should negotiate peace with the rebel forces in the mountains. The local government units (LGUs) should take the responsibility for doing the negotiations and they should get the civilian population involved in this also.
The testimonial dinner in Balay Mindanaw was graced by my good friend from the resistance movement during martial law, Edicio dela Torre, former director of the national office of Tesda.
Also present was the energetic Gov. Oscar Moreno.
Both Gen. Felix and Gov. Moreno were given an award for their invaluable services rendered to our local government in Mindanao.
Ironically, one award was signed by Secretrary Jesse Robredo of the DILG while the necrological services in Naga City were going on. Because of his untimely death, Robredo has become a national hero due to the manner in which he started to clean up and organize anew the local governments nationwide.
In a similar way, our local government units should get organized in order to properly involve themselves in the peace negotiations with the communist insurgents. If I would have a chance to talk to our President about this, I would suggest to him that he makes Victor Felix the chief negotiator in the peace talks with the NPA here in Mindanao. I am sure in that capacity, Gen Felix could do that job as good as Prof. Marvic Leonen has done this as chief of the negotiating panel for Muslim Mindanao.
In case President Aquino agrees, I hope Gen. Felix would accept that challenge, now that he is retiring from the armed forces. He is still too young to go into full retirement.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 02, 2012.