Fetalvero: Give peace a chance-A A +A
Two empty bottles
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
CAN an individual or a group still negotiate when he or they already have blood on his or their hands? At the negotiating table, can we still call it a peace talk? This is now the dilemma our Philippine government is facing amid the Zamboanga crisis.
The Aquino administration has expressed its position that it is no longer willing to go back to the negotiating table. Webster dictionary defines negotiate “to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter; to arrange for or bring about through conference discussion and compromise.”
What will Aquino say to the relatives of the victims in the bloody stand off, to the 500 residents who lost their homes and to the thousands of evacuees? Should the government opt to go back to negotiate with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)?
First of all, in my opinion, peace is something that is non-negotiable. The subject can be opened for discussion but never to be disputed. Who can dispute peace?
Let me refer you to the definition of peace. Webster defines peace as freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotion; harmony in personal relations; in the state of concord or tranquility; a state or order within a community provided for by law or custom.
With the above definition, can we truly say there was no breach of contract between the Philippine government and the MNLF?
The Aquino government acted to protect its citizens when the MNLF faction decided to siege a city. There were reports that the course of action taken by the MNLF is an offshoot of bruised ego by the leadership. The MNLF felt left out in the recent agreement between the Aquino administration and the Bansang Moro National Liberation Front. Could we put the lives of innocent civilians at harms way simply because one’s ego is hurt? When one’s agenda goes personal, the ideological plan or whatever it is they are fighting for goes out of the window.
To my Muslim brother, Misuari, I understand you need space for your radically differing values, but let us face it you live in a community where there are different ethnic groups who simply want peace not war.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 19, 2013.