SQUARE POINT: The elusive peace PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 23 December 2011 13:31

BY Jack Edward Enriquez

Over four decades now the Mindanaoans especially us, the peace loving inhabitants of the south, have been deprived of the true meaning of the word “peace” guaranteed by the Constitution of a democratic country like ours, the beloved Philippines.

Different groups were organized among civic and church leaders, volunteers and students to portray the role of peace weavers and peace advocates here in Mindanao and Zamboanga City in particular. They support the peace program of the government by going down to the grassroot level through immersion to feel the real sentiment of the masses as what they have undertaken in connection with the Mindanao Week of Peace. They elucidate the significance of peace and try to instill in the minds of their listeners that peace can only be realized through civilized negotiations based on reasoning and mutual understanding.

Violence and hostilities will only tend to drive peace away. We appreciate so much the efforts exerted by these zealous advocates and volunteers like the Peace Advocates Zamboanga headed by our active friend Fr. Calvo, the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace and the Bishops-Ulama Conference in the quest for true and lasting peace here in this part of the archipelago. Kudos!

However, let’s make a little reflection. Who started this conflict that has devastated peace here in Mindanao? The poor farmers, fishermen, laborers, vendors and the innocent indigenous natives? Who initiated the evil scheme that has caused untimely death, vast destructions and sufferings upon the helpless, peaceful Mindanaoans? Why the focus on the common masses? They are the ones suffering, they are the shock-absorbers, they are the collateral damage. Isn’t it just like barking at the wrong tree?

Of course, it cannot be denied— inadvertently some lucky guys are benefitted from the deplorable situation for the past several years.

For peace talks to succeed on the table, there should be sincerity and understanding among the negotiators with trust and confidence in one another, not even a tinge of greed.

Generally the Mindanaoans are persisting in thirst for quite a time— not water nor wealth, but the elusive peace.