Give Peace a Chance

TRULY I cannot help admiring the sincere efforts of CALABARZON police Director Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao Jr. to contribute in the best way he can in finding lasting solutions to the decades-old insurgency problems besetting the country.

Even before PNoy could ask everyone to rally behind the government as peace talks with several rebel groups including the National Democratic Front-Communist Party of the Philippines (NDF-CPP) are set to resume in the coming days, “Atty. Pagdi,” as others fondly call him, has already initiated moves primarily designed to foster trust and confidence between the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and NDF.

With no less than Vice President Jojo Binay and PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo in attendance, Pagdi’s “Padyak para sa Kapayapaan” highlighted with a bikathon and peace advocacy forum, is set in motion tomorrow with civilian, military and police bikers all over the region kicking off separately from SM Dasmarinas, Cavite and SM San Pablo, Laguna at 6 a.m. for a 35-kilometer trek and will converge at the parade ground of Police Regional Office 4-A headquarters in Camp Vicente Lim, Calamba City for a peace rally.

Extra-elated by the support from local government officials, members of the academe, peace advocates and religious groups, among others, Pagdilao, whose competence, vast experience in police and public service and dedication to his sworn duty are traits that many and that includes me admire him most, believes that the peace talks would be the best chance to bring to an end the four decades of infighting.

“Southern Tagalog has been the arena of some of the bloodiest clashes between government troops and the NPA (New People’s Army) rebels in recent years and we strongly believe that unless the peace talks is given a real chance, the people of this region – including its future generation – will continue to suffer the consequences of this protracted fighting,” according to Pagdilao, my personal pick to lead the PNP in the near future.

He stresses: “We can no longer afford the youth of this country and the future generation to inherit the armed conflict between the government and the communist insurgents much more allow it to continuously embarrass the nation being the only country in Southeast Asia that has a problem on insurgency.”

The good general is just damn right. It’s indeed the ideal time for both the government and the rebels groups including Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Mindanao to sincerely show their interest to the cessation of hostilities and to give peace a chance by extending the ceasefire.

Everyone, I believe, has a shared responsibility for the peace talks to prosper that’s why we should all take part in seeking solutions instead of perplexing things and letting unrest prevail that pushes us down to poverty and even death to many innocent civilians.

Well, unless the government would keep matters as what it is. I just don’t want to entertain this old thing that it’s the government that doesn’t want to put a permanent end to the conflict because funding will be stopped and arms sales will be stopped. Cobweb of corruption at its peak.- Arlie Calalo

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