Another reply to Ka Oris-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
ACCORDING to a news report in Inquirer on March 10, 2013, the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), which recently met in Baguio City, has offered to take custody of National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants held in detention centers, to help revive peace talks between the government and communist rebels.
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, who attended the meeting in Baguio, said the detainees' release would be a significant confidence-building measure that may lead to a common declaration of national unity, the peace instrument being negotiated by the government and the NDF in The Netherlands.
This is another indirect reply to my friend Ka Oris, much more positive than my own reply to him, in the sense that it offers a concrete opportunity to stop the insurgency in Mindanao.
The arrest and detention of a number of NDF consultants has been a constant obstacle for the continuation of the Peace Negotiations in Norway. The NDF consultants are covered by the Joint Agreement of Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), a pact signed by government and NDF representatives that serves as a guideline for the free movement of NDF members involved in peace talks. Continued detention of these consultants is a grave injustice and some should be immediately released for humanitarian considerations.
The husband of a good friend of mine, Alfredo Mapano, is still detained here in Cagayan de Oro. I hope that he will be released soon. I think this offer of the PEPP is a very positive move and I would by all means support it. I do hope that Jorge Madlos will respond also in a positive way.
A friend of mine from Luzon who since January stays in Mindanao to monitor the situation here in Northern Mindanao wrote me a very positive reaction on my column 'My Reply to Ka Oris' some time ago. He told me: 'I agree with you, I really felt amazed and yet I felt something inside me as if I felt braver and stronger. Previously I lost hope when I heard radio commentators praising Ka Oris and even thanking him for his time to be interviewed (Magnum Radio). I told to myself: is this what the people believe now? Poor Mindanao.'
I won't mention his name here, but he called himself a silent diplomat who just came here to monitor the situation in Mindanao.
In another email he told me: 'I agree with you, sad to say the National Government itself is blind on the big effect of insurgency in the country. The ideology (of the CPP/NPA) is dying, yet it continues to exist because of rampant extortion. I hope you can help us find Ka Oris.
He is the only living figure of the CPP in Mindanao. Ka Roger has gone, that is why insurgency in Luzon and Visayas is at its lowest gain and almost insignificant. I hope this will also happen soon in Mindanao. If that happens, Mindanao will be far more developed than Luzon.'
When will we have real peace in Mindanao again? (For your comments email email@example.com)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 13, 2013.