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PEACE MUST BE HEARD TODAY

(Statement on the Launching of KAPAYAPAAN)
 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

Peace must be heard today. Guns and bombs, senseless loss of lives and destruction of families, terror and trauma have besieged our family and society for decades. This war has cost us invaluable damages and human toll that continue to haunt us as a nation. It is time to talk about peace.

Peace is not just the absence of conventional warfare or dismantling and redisposition of its armed component. It is alarming beyond proportion when war has been waged in our own backyard, school and communities. It shall definitely take its collateral damage on the civilian population. Countless orphans and widows increase in number day by day and disruptions of economic, socio-cultural and political life have plunged us deeper into the quagmire of poverty and misery.

It is time to discuss the root causes of this war. The only logical path in attaining sustainable and tangible peace is addressing the root causes of armed conflicts. We can never talk about peace without understanding the inner dynamism of injustices that has brought this war upon us. It is imperative that National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) must open and resume the peace negotiation. Both parties must understand that there are more urgent concerns than their organizational and institutional agenda. I commend them in upholding the people’s rights in the signing of Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, yet its current implementation and adherence is highly questionable.

Government is the embodiment of the aspirations of its people. True government must work tirelessly for the common good and one of its fundamental foundations and aspirations is peace based on social justice. Local peace talks will never be the solution. It will bring more confusion and fragmentation to the people. It will scuttle the peace negotiation at the national level.


On the occasion of the launching of KAPAYAPAAN, I convey my warmest greetings and admiration to all peace-loving people and networks of organizations that gather today so that PEACE MUST BE HEARD TODAY. It is the resounding beat of wounded human soul that longs for peace for our family and society. There can never be genuine development and progress without peace. There can never be lasting peace without social justice.

Let us join together as peace-loving citizens and take courage to walk the road for peace. If we want peace, all of us must contribute and make a stand as an individual, family and organization for peace. Let us be one radiant voice that talks about peace in the corners of our offices, homes, farmlands, factories and churches. No one controls the future except those who are bold and brave enough to claim RESUME THE NDFP-GRP PEACE NEGOTIATION NOW!

May the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and through the intercession of the Blessed Mother – Our Lady of Peace inspire and guide us in this quest for peace.


MOST REV. ARTURO M. BASTES, SVD., D.D.
BISHOP OF SORSOGON

 

 

 

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