Peace building, not fighting to win the war PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 12:18

The military is reviewing its strategies in the conduct of civil military operations in Western Mindanao. This is in line with the present thrust of the new chief of the Western Mindanao Command.

Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer, an advocate of peace,  believes that winning the war in Mindanao is not at all times waging war and getting head on with the enemies of the state by the use of firepower and combat operations, but through peaceful means and reaching out to the people in the countryside.

The new military commander has vowed to continue the peace-building approach that he started as a brigade commander in Basilan, saying that war-fighting is not the only the choice a soldier has in order to accomplish the mission.

What the soldier needs, according to him, is to learn is how to build peace and make it lasts.

The top military official believes that traditional military solution of war-fighting is not always the best solution to whatever mission the Filipino soldier confronts today.

In line with this objective, the Civil Relations Group for Western Mindanao under the leadership of Col. Gamal Hayudini is building up its efforts in the conduct of activities and strategies as well as in order to take effect the new mandate given them by the Wesmincom Chief.

Hayudini said his unit is already conducting CMO activities long before, but this time it is quite different because they have to double their efforts in conducting the same to further reach out to the community and let the people understand better the objective of the military and the government in building peace here in Mindanao.

Part of these activities is the widespread conduct of alternative information campaign like community dialogues on engagements to break down the biases of the people towards the military, introduce to the people how the soldier lives, as well as the soldier to determine the lives of the people whenever they are deployed here in the region.

Hayudini said that their job in civil relations is challenging because of the complexity of the Mindanao environment which needs further understanding about the culture and tradition, plus the misconception of the war-torn areas about the presence and activities of the military in their area.

He said that re-introducing civil relations as an intensified strategy in peace-building would be a big  challenge to the command, but it is a potent tool to ensure that conflicts are resolved not through war, but through the inter-agency interventions involving all sectors and stakeholders, building relationships to the common people who are victims of conflict and make the bilateral relationship with the residents a common ground and strong foundation in diminishing the effects of conflict.

Hayudini revealed that sharing the battle space with other peace-builders in society would strengthen the possible resolutions of the conflict here and would considerably realize some resolution mechanisms to a peaceful environment.

By Bhong Simbajon