BOOM! Prrrt! Pow! Kaboom! Those sounds could be heard in a battlefield when there is combat. We don’t like it especially when Filipinos are fighting against Filipinos. We have relatives and friends in the group of the army and policemen. On the other hand, we have also cognates and kinsmen in the rebel’s aggression. Whoever dies, a Filipino dies!

It was Senior Superintendent Mariano Natu-el Jr., deputy regional director for operations of Police Regional Office (PRO) 18, who said that the police are in “battle mode” for possible offensive attacks. He also added that his troops coordinated with the Philippine Army for augmentation and deployment of troops. He also said that there will be assistance to police in “critical” areas.

Brigadier General Francisco Delfin, commander of the 303rd Infantry Brigade of the Philippine Army with base in the municipality of Murcia, also directed army troopers to amplify detachments and police stations in “vulnerable areas.” Our army is armed up to the teeth to face the armed rebels who will take advantage of the suspension of offensive police operations (Sopo).

Ka Jorge Madlos, NPA spokesman, said that after the expiration of the unilateral ceasefire on February 10 (11:59 p.m.), CPP and NPA will remain committed to support the ongoing peace talks. Madlos explained also that the government (Duterte administration) has not complied with amnesty and release of all political prisoners (more than 400).

With all these developments, we are expecting a national security threat. The military is sure of one thing... no to release of more than 400 political prisoners. President Digong cannot do it also. The military may declare a coup d’etat. The exchange of words could just be a warm up activity only. If the involved parties are in the “battle mode,” expect for the gruesome nature of war.

I am saying it because to date two soldiers have been kidnapped at Sultan Kudarat, four soldiers were killed in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, one military official was a casualty in Davao, and the body count is expected to increase. All these atrocities have been alleged to have been done by the NPAs.

This “battle mode” brings fear to the hearts of the ordinary citizens and it will create chaos in tourism, trade, commerce, and industry. In the recent Miss Universe pageant, we featured the Philippines as the land of beauty, hospitable people, peace-loving citizens, and a paradise where visitors are always welcome. This “battle mode” brings psychological devastation. We do not want to see the grittiest ever performance and mesmerizing portrayal of our war dogs.

We do not want to convert our Philippines into a dangerous jungle. We do not ever want to hear the impact of war on individuals, families, and communities. We do not have a neo-barbarian way of settling ideological and political conflicts. We don’t give a damn to leaders and trigger-happy soldiers and rebels who will show off their burgeoning nationalism and hunger for recognition.

War in any language is a systematic perversion and deformation of human character. It is Apocalypse Now! It will kill us up to the edge of our mind. We do not want to make Philippines an emerging killing field in Asia. We do not want to hear this, “Men prefer sorrow over joy… suffering over peace!” The dead know only one thing. It is better to be alive.

I am not giving you a sermon. I beg our politicians, policemen, bishops, priests, and political advisers to put a temporary pause to illegal drugs, illegal gambling, corruption of the highest level, condom advocacy, same sex marriage, and early political campaign. Can you just sit down together (regardless of sex, religion, and political affiliation) and talk about peace and the destiny of our country being the only Christian nation in Asia?

Let us find Christ in our midst. Let us set our balls and bullets aside. Let us find out why we have rebels with a cause in our society. Where do the laborers stand? Why is poverty a banner program in our country? Why are our Christian communities breeding prostitutes and neglected street children? What are the causes of unemployment and underemployment?

Homegrown rebels, ideologists, street parliamentarians and social non-conformists are born because something is wrong with our democratic system. Let us overhaul our machinery to prevent people from going into “battle mode.” Keep standing, remain firm. The storm in our life doesn’t last forever.