NCCP calls for end to Mindanao hostilities

Aug. 22, 2007


Give ear to my prayer, O God. . . for his speech was smoother than butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.(Psalm 55:21)

The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) joins all peace-loving Filipinos especially our sisters and brothers in Mindanao in calling for an end to the separate military offensives in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu. The NCCP views with grave concern the cost of war in terms of the loss of lives, damage to property, the disruption and displacement of communities and the trauma such offensive brings especially to non-combatants. We grieve with all the victims of this all out war.

But we must denounce what is obvious: the sending of more battalions of soldiers to the region. Why does it take battalions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to undertake the pursuit of a group of criminals? Why must the communities in the provinces of Sulu and Basilan now be made to pay the price for the deeds of a band of bandits?

The governments public declaration to resume formal peace negotiations with the MILF and the MNLF on one hand and an aggressive and massive military offensive on the other under the guise of pursuing armed bandits is sending contradictory signals. It shows the governments propensity for militarist solutions at the expense of the people. For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they conceive words of deceit. (Psalm 35.29)

The NCCP, consistent with its mandate to be a peace advocate and peace builder demands the cessation of military operations and the pouring in of more soldiers in the provinces of Basilan and Sulu. The NCCP maintains that the best way to address conflict and violence is to root out the causes of our problems of poverty, landlessness, unemployment, and the general feeling of helplessness in the country. As long as the broad section of our people do not enjoy the blessings of justice, peace, abundant life and human dignity, social unrest and civil strife will continue to hound those who rule. History has taught us that the militarist approach will never succeed in resolving the armed conflict. In reiterating this, we urge the immediate resumption of the formal peace talks between the Government and the MILF and the MNLF. We urge the media not to slacken in bringing to the attention of this country and the rest of the world, the cost of war in Mindanao. We call on our churches and partners overseas to convey to the Office of the President our rejection of a military solution to the problems in Mindanao caused by injustice and marginalization and to resolve with dispatch the longstanding conflict in the south.

General Secretary – NCCP
Chairperson, NCCP
Prime Bishop, Episcopal Church in the Philippines

IMPORTANT NOTICE: INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to davaotoday @ Davao Today is not responsible for the content of these materials. The opinion expessed in these items does not reflect those of Davao Today and its staff. Please refer to our terms of use/disclaimer.

comments powered by Disqus