At this time and age in our country, peace seems to be a word whose meaning is no longer known, whose reality is not anymore felt, much less lived. Only the elderly can really say what “peacetime” really means, how life was then lived, what living then meant.
While World War II is gone, warring still goes on and on in the Philippines. It seems that the basically Japan-vs-USA war left us with a non-enviable legacy: the liking for violence and killing, the excitement for armed struggle and destruction.
And there is only one sure winner in wartime, in violent conflicts: the arms and weapons industries, most of which are in foreign soils. Everybody else are losers. But the more arms and weapons are sold, the bigger winners their manufacturers become. The poorer and more miserable their avid customers emerge.
The Philippines had its peacetime once. It is certainly possible for it to have and enjoy it again. The country experienced the blessings of peace. There is no reason why it should abandon the quest for it now and in the days yet to come.
This is the age of civilized peoples. Communications have united humanity all around the world. Commerce and travel are bringing peoples closer to one another. The conclusion from all these is obvious: armed conflict is no longer a legitimate option.
There is nothing like continuous armed struggle and fierce violent conflict that drives development and prosperity away. Armed conflict and abundance are mutually exclusive. Peace is the necessary ingredient of productivity and progress.
Would that the government and the NDP/NPA open but even their little doors for the start of peace talks. Would that both parties finally realize that none of them can be winners. And as long as they continue their mutual armed struggle, it is the people who also continue to lose and lose more.
9 June 1999