The only option

REPORTS quoting 61 congressmen the likes of Pangasinan’s Leopoldo Bataoil, a former top honcho of the Philippine National Police, opting for the reopening of the stalled peace talks with Communist rebels, surely warm the heart.

The timing is perfect. During the Lenten Season, Christendom is riveted to God’s redemptive love. Nothing is more apropos and, if you will, propitious in our much troubled world.

Having shrunk to a global village – thanks to the lightning advance of knowledge and hi-tech communications — our world today should now dash any and all vestiges of misinformation and/or misunderstanding among people anywhere.

Our faith in the positive outcome of the peace talks – reconciliation would be a better word – rests on the universal preaching of God that people are intrinsically brothers. What more if they belong to the same bloodline like being Filipinos?

We are elated no end by the breakaway endorsement by Pangasinan Congressman Pol Bataoil, a former PNP deputy director, of an enlightened position coming from a soldier.

Listen to Pol Bataoil on the subject:
“I am for genuine and lasting peace. Wala pang peacetalks noon, open na ang doors ko to all ‘enemies’ of state who want peace. I made sure that those who didn’t want peace, got the full might of the law. You can check that in Cotabato, Basilan, Negros, Cagayan, Isabela, Pangasinan and in all of my assignments where I have served in all critical areas of our country since I entered the service: Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon in that order. I have seen the deep rooted problems that cause insurgency, secession and other threats to national security.

These problems persist even to this date. I have seen soldiers, policemen and civilians dying as a result thereof, and I foresee that many more will perish. I have talked with many saying that military option is never the solution and that scholarly and high sounding approaches were offered ills.

My belief is for us in the government to give peace a chance without precondition, without SOMO/SOPO, conduct relentless counter-guerrilla, counter-terrorism and anti-crime options and negotiate from a position of strength. I hope I have made my stand clear enough. My love of country is as large and as much as anyone else’s. I almost lost my life in the battlefield, but I haven’t lost my will to fight and my longing for peace. That is why I was made a member of Committee on Peace, Unity and Reconciliation, Committee on Defense, Committee on Public Order and Safety and Chairman on Committee on Veterans Affairs snd Welfare.”

Well said, and we applaud Congressman Bataoil for his candid remarks.

Out of 299 congressmen (including the party-list), only 31 like Bataoil were for real, brotherly peace. Do the antis really think the room is already shut for reconciliation?

This is tough nut to crack. We thought the reluctant – the antis – are just swaying to the President’s body language; that’s sad, because he could change his stand on what is exigent.

The military option – a closed door – such as what Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana’s and PNP chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s would hew into a simple black and white affair – simplistically reduced to “you are black, I am white syllogism, and so no deal.”

Aside from the announcement for the peace talks’ resumption, the ice berg further thawed with the improving relations between countries of clashing ideologies. The hot head Kim Jung un has agreed to talk with his South Korean counterpart, President Moon Jae – in.

Ditto with President Trump, who has softened his stand against North Korea.

For a while the nation was on celebrative mood when Duterte loyalists Jess Dureza and our college classmate Bebot Bello were munching with gusto the reconciliation option.

We yield the chair to the President’s righteous wrath against certain barbaric elements who kill government soldiers even amid ongoing talks. But these miscarriages of justice are committed in isolated areas, literally, and render as unthinkable its dragging the CPP leadership into the fray.

President Digong has a track in pragmatic leadership, which we call political savvy. We are therefore hopeful the stalled talks for peace would be brought to its The Passion of Christ will illumine our countrymen w rather slow in capturing the logic and imperatives of revived reconciliation and lasting peace.

It’s the only option in these enlightened times.