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One Small Voice
Thursday, January 17, 2013
THE incoming chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is the son of a former general who was killed in action in the insurgency war against what they call Moro rebels in the south.
This tragic incident of the death of a father in the life of a military officer, or even that of a civilian, is something that cannot just be forgotten like nothing happened. Some will take the law into their own hands and either personally exact revenge or personally arrange for another to exact the revenge. Some, however, especially those without the capability of actually doing something, suffer in silence or wait for an opportunity which often never really comes.
Obviously, a military officer, and now as the incoming chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has the capability to exact revenge, by himself or through his hundreds of thousands of armed personnel nationwide. This is not to say, however, that the incoming chief will finally collect the debt or that he has already forgotten what happened more than thirty years ago. This is just to say, that, he had the capability a long time ago but he never made it the mission of his life to exact revenge and nothing more and nothing less.
If at all, he has lived a life, and served in the military, not to go after the killers of his father, but to give both the life and the death of his father some meaning and purpose. If his father were just alive now, his father would have been as proud as proud can be that his son was not only not discouraged to follow in his footsteps, his son also went above and beyond what he has accomplished, having been appointed to the highest rank and the highest position available in the military service.
If at all, the death of his father only strengthened the resolve of his son to proceed and to pursue, inspired by the fact that his father did not die in vain in a war between fellow Filipinos, especially now that the son is going to take the lead in the transition of the military goals and the military objectives.
The incoming chief is tasked to end the internal security operations and to begin the territorial defense operations. To be sure, internal security operations will never end, but we may be able to minimize it.
To be sure, territorial defense operations can never be enough if and when compared to our neighbors or the threats as they should be, but we must at least try what we can. In the former, we are fighting fellow Filipinos as we have done so for way too long already. In the latter, although hopefully, it will not come to be, we will be fighting foreigners.
To be clear, however, there is neither any wish at all to fight foreigners as they are humans too, nor any wish at all to fight extra-terrestrials even if they are not humans. Without a doubt, the goal is peace, the objective is development, and the prayer is both peace and development for all.
With the recent development of successes in the peace negotiations with the MILF and inroads in the peace negotiations with the CPP-NDF, the time has really come for peace and development to have a chance.
Especially with the unique and personal experience of the incoming chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, having learned the lessons of war directly from what happened to his father who fought and died, he can certainly help lead our country, though his father is long gone, with parental guidance.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 18, 2013.