PEACE MUST BE
(Statement on the Launching of
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 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
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
MOST REV. ARTURO M. BASTES, SVD., D.D.
BISHOP OF SORSOGON