Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004

About

@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Closing remarks during the peace talks forum in UP Diliman attended by GPH-MILF and GPH-NDFP panels

Ilang linggo na rin nagsimula ang mga usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng GPH-MILF at GPH-NDFP. Eh ang usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng Samar at Balay sa Malakanyang, nagsimula na ba? Sa tingin ko kailangan ng peace talks din sa pagitan ni Sarah Geronimo at Christine Reyes.

Congratulations sa GPH, NDFP at MILF para sa mga joint statement na inyong nilagdaan. Magandang balita ito para sa lahat ng naghahangand ng kapayapaan sa bansa.

Isa sa mga paborito kong website ay wordle. I copy-pasted the joint statements of the GPH, NDFP, MILF in wordle and here are the results. What are the most common words used by the three parties?

Sa GPH-NDFP, ang kanilang mga pangalan ang dominante at ang salitang ‘panel’. Ganun din sa GPH-MILF. Medyo nagulat ako dahil ang talagang inaasahan kong lilitaw na keyword ay salitang peace. Pero nagsisimula pa lang naman ang peace talks kaya mauunawaan siguro natin kung ang pinag-uusapan pa lang naman nila ay tungkol sa kanilang mga sarili. Eto ang hamon sa lahat ng panig: sana habang umuusad ang usapan, ang maging laman ng mga pahayag ay mga substaniyal na isyu ng mamamayan. Ibig sabihin, pag-usapan ang mga kongkretong adyenda ng mamamayan para sa tunay na kapayapaan.

Dapat tumulong din tayo na ipakilala sa publiko ang pulitika at personalidad ng GPH, NDFP, MILF. Kung ang Edsa 1986 nga hindi na alam ng maraming bata, ano pa kaya ang lebel ng pag-unawa nila sa usapang pangkapayapaan.

Batay sa aking maikling internet research, ang kahulugan ng GPH o Government of the Republic of the Philippines ay pwedeng maging iba: Generalized Proportional Hazard, Global Parliamentarians on Habitat, Good Payment History, Gospel Publishing House, Gallons Per Hour.

Ganun din ang MILF o Moro Islamic Liberation Front: Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Mother I’d Like to Find (polite), Man I Like Fragging, Many Islands, Low Fares.

At pati NDFP: New Drug Funding Program, National Dart Foundation of the Philippines, National Database of Food Poisoning, New Day Foundation Program.

Nabanggit ng pangulo sa isang asembliya na pwedeng gamitin ang IT para sa pagsusulong ng kapayapaan. Tinukoy niya ang maraming website pati mga social network site tulad ng twitter, facebook at youtube. Tama ang pangulo sa pagtukoy ng papel ng IT para sa pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon ukol sa usapang pangkapayapaan.

Pero batid din natin ang limitasyon ng teknolohiyang ito. Ngayon, may pagsabog ng impormasyon sa internet. We are heavy consumers of bits and bytes of data everyday. Some information are helpful, enlightening; but most are trash. Spam. We have to filter the healthy information and discard the junk. The challenge is how to make the infinite stream of information meaningful to our lives and to our avowed goal of spreading peace in the land. The bigger challenge is how to make this information useful in building a more peaceful society.

For every tweet that says, #iamforpeace, there are hundreds if not thousands of tweets that says #damnitstrue.

Ideally, we can contact the person who tweeted #iamforpeace and recruit him to be a warrior for peace. But the problem with online conversations is that most of the time, they remain just like that, conversations in the virtual world.

Decades ago, when radio broadcast was developed, there were expectations that it would usher a new era of peace and progress. It was assumed that everybody would share scholarly knowledge through the radio waves. Of course we know Hitler also used that technology. We had the same dreams for TV before it became known as the idiot box. Now we have the internet.

Yes, let’s continue the conversations for real peace but let us also act. Human intervention in the real world. Technology doesn’t make societies more peaceful, people do.

How to be involved in the peace process? Practice politics. I do not refer to the politics of patronage or pabaon. Politics, in our discussion today, refers to the constant but often tenuous interaction between leaders and citizens of a polis. I am a subscriber to the school of thought that the goal of politics is always the invention of new possibilities, new truths, and new events.

To promote peace, we must promote the political actions of the people in the community. The struggle for human rights, economic and political rights is part of the peace process. An authentic peace agenda reflects the specific demands of the people like better social services and grassroots empowerment.

We have to be vigilant against two groups of people: First, the war mongers who prefer a military solution to quell all kinds of rebellion. And second, the naïve pacifists who want peace just for the sake of peace – those who equate peace with the absence of civil unrest and war.

Let us expand the peace constituency in the country, and we can accomplish this by continuing to struggle for our national and democratic rights.

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