Editorial, Central Mindanao Newswatch, April 2-8, 2009 issue
Whoever they are, civilians shouldn’t be dragged to the problem of insurgency. That is not just a political right, but a basic human right.
The fact that three civilians were killed in the recent attack of the New People’s Army in a Zamboanguita militia post gives this gruesome war an even more gory look.
And we can say this to the two parties, the military (including the Civilian Armed Auxiliary) and the New People’s Army: employ more tactical and humane actions.
What does it speak of this protracted conflict between ideologies and sensibilities?
There is no excuse for the death of any single civilian. Much more, for a child’s life, in a fight that has shown to have gone berserck because of the suspended peace process between the government and the National Democratic Front.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s warning to end the CPP-NPA insurgency by 2010 is being matched with this unremitting attacks, summary executions, encounters, jail attacks, gun-grabbing, and what have they, etcetera, etcetera.
Both parties have sustained losses and claimed some gains.
But the civilians have nothing to gain, and carry the brunt of all losses.
It is the public that suffered the biggest casualties to life, property, normalcy, and even sanity. The fear and terror of being caught in the crossfire is a heavy load to a people coping with poverty especially in the rural areas.
If it is a consolation, the head of the City’s Social Welfare and Development Office told a local radio station: the residents in Upper Pulangui, venue of yet the most recent mayhem have already got used to evacuating that they possibly could not be traumatized anymore. If it is true, then it is a bad sign, not a good one.
The point is every action of any of the warring parties constitute some amounts of free will choices. That they choose to go to war, is the greatest crime they commit to the civilians.
Instead, both parties choose the path of war, and what could you expect from war? There is no better war. We can never ask warring parties to tone down because civilians are there. War is always trash and it always brings violence.
Peace could also be an option, but it is a remote choice, the road less traveled, the option less taken.
Actually, it is stupid to ask both parties to employ more tactical and humane acts in conducting war. War is always inhuman.
So we better stick to the basic: choose peace and let it happen, know ceasefire and make it happen, and resume the peace talks, at all cost.