We urge the government and the National Democratic Front to immediately declare a ceasefire if only to show interest and sincerity in pursuing the path of peace.
Both sides cannot hope to talk peace while relentless attacks and clashes repeatedly occur in various parts of the nation. A ceasefire and a truce must be seriously considered as a means to give way to formal talks.
The insurgency in the Philippines has dragged on for decades and cost hundreds of thousands of lives, including innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. The continued armed conflict has also drained the nation’s coffers of funds that should have been allocated to basic social services for Filipinos.
I say this again and I would like to stress that no progressive nation became prosperous while facing armed conflict. A declaration of ceasefire could pave the way to the development of war torn areas in the country. This would solve the number one cause of insurgency—poverty. The peace initiatives during the Ramos presidency gave rise to highly developed cities such as General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao City. Who’s to say the same cannot happen again?