Editorial: Talking, breathing peace-A A +A
Sunday, September 22, 2013
FRESH fighting erupted in Zamboanga City anew, flights have again been cancelled. For how long will the city be able to sustain this disruption in its economy before the middle class will go bankrupt and join the thousands of poor starving evacuees?
In this situation, the people remain as hostage. Maybe no longer physically, but virtually. They cannot leave because they have just enough to scrape by. They cannot return to their normal activities because the gunbattle rages.
The past several days since the gunbattle in Zamboanga City broke out, showed how important it is to talk peace no matter what.
“I want it finished today,” Zamboanga City Mayor Isabelle “Beng” Climaco said last September 13. Of course it wasn’t finished. Not for as long as those putting up a fight are convinced that they have nothing to lose if they continue the firefight. “I want it finished today” spoken amid the burst of gunfire is easily interpreted as an order to finish off the enemy. Now what enemy would want to be finished off?
It has been two weeks since the fighting erupted, and government is still asking, where the rebels are getting their ammunition.
Zero-zero, that’s the term used colloquially by many to mean there is nothing good to be derived. A “lose-lose” not a “win-win”, and that is what waging war is all about. Win-win is about making compromises, lose-lose is choosing the warpath. In this instance, the warpath was chosen.
Easily too, if deep-seated prejudice are not tended to, if people and government do not see the virtue in breaking bread and talking, even with armed men and ideologues. Holding these arms and bearing these ideologies, after all, are humans who have a heart and a soul that can respond to an offer of understanding, even if not peace (yet).
Conflict is there Mindanao has been steeped for centuries now, it should be embedded among the present-day Mindanaoans to always choose the path of peace, even if this will be unpopular to the authorities in Manila. We should know better, we should insist on what we know is right and proven to buy us even a year or two of quiet, since we can always dialogue again after a year or two. We should insist on peace because, it’s our people, our families who will suffer and die, not theirs.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 23, 2013.