From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Apr 11): Army defends hunt for rebs
TALAINGOD, Davao del Norte—Officials of this upland town appealed to members of a tribal group to return home as the military said there was no reason for the people to flee amid ongoing offensives against communist rebels.
At least 1,300 men, women and children from the Manobo tribe from two villages fled to Davao City on April 2, according to Mayor Basilio Libayao.
Libayao said reports about military abuses in his town were not true because the local government has not received any complaint against military excesses.
On Wednesday, military officials also cried foul over what they said were efforts to paint government soldiers as evil.
Col. Harold Cabreros, head of the Army’s 1,003rd Infantry Brigade, said the Army had not violated any rights in the course of its campaign against communist rebels.
The communities that had been deserted were not even near the sites of clashes between soldiers and rebels, he said.
Maj. Jacob Obligado, civil military operations officer of the 10th Infantry Division, said he did not believe that the operation against the rebels justified the evacuations.
“The question is, what really is causing the suffering here?” he said.
“It is the NPA (New People’s Army) in the first place,” he added. “The military is merely doing its duty,” he said.
However, all negative statements can be generally classified as spoiling, because of the timing of their action. Intention, even the best one, cannot manifest itself. It is a mental process; therefore no one knows, except the doer (and God).
The issue of peace is a neutral issue and the concerned of all. Simple modesty or good taste would require that no one should rock the festive mood provided by the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CB) last March 27. The issue of constitutionality or unconstitutionality of any part of the peace pact rests with the domain of the Supreme Court. A comment even of the best legal mind is mere opinion.
But oftentimes a negative happening is the beginning point of a much improved human relations. This is taking place in our midst right now. No one wants to be openly branded as spoiler.
However, one very serious type of spoiling is one undertaken by “free riders” who strive to gain as much from the opportunities provided by the CAB, but at the same time try to undermine the process, citing alleged inadequate provisions for their groups or those which they pretend to represent. They belong mostly to those who were not seriously affected by the long drawn-out struggle waged by the Bangsamoro people. They are like the proverbial camel which eventually kicks out the poor Arab from the tent after the latter gave way to all its wishes.
Be this as it may, spoiling is not wholly bad. It is a reality and a given situation in all conflict resolutions in the world. One cannot desire and get a real ideal situation where there are no spoilers. We have to live by it and engage.
Spoilers can be engaged constructively, but the desired results vary. There are at least three categories of spoilers: 1) those who are not informed well and after they understand the issues and concerns they board the peace process; 2) those who understand but refuse to comprehend or have distorted perceptions, and 3) those who understand but his selfish or vested interests are affected negatively by the change of relationship after the signing of the peace accord. Peace-makers should sustain the engagement with the first and second categories, but for the third, engage them also but in doing so, determine their real motives and hit them head on with superior arguments that the real and ultimate beneficiaries of the peace process is the people, not for a selected few.