We are Peace and Justice Advocates spread out all over the Philippines and abroadscattered, in the millions, in the far-flung countries of the globeall earnestly praying for peace and justice in our beloved homeland.

The armed conflict between the Marxist and Maoist rebels groups and government military and paramilitary forces has been going on for over half a century; it's one of the longest such struggles in the world, with no apparent end in sight.

During this period, countless lives have been lost among the combatants as well as in the civilian population, including the youth at the prime time of their lives, caught in the crossfire; tens of thousands more have been displaced, losing their properties, land or means of livelihood, living miserable lives, dreams deferred, abandoned or lost altogether. Poverty, lack of education, hunger and ill-health stalk them; infrastructures that underpin our economy damaged or destroyed, impeding our economic development.

We understand, even sympathize with, the grievances of the the rebel groups, driven to desperate means because they've been denied, on a number of occasions, access to democratic space to voice their concerns, simply ignored; or worse, authorities have perpetrated violence against them.

We understand, too, the position of the government to defend its legitimacy to govern, even as we know on some occasions the levers of political powers have been obtained by fraudulent means and utilized, along with military force, to coerce and repress the poor, the uneducated and the disenfranchised.

Faced with so many societal problems from within--poverty, corruption, poor education, lack of access to health care, malnutrition and hunger--and competitive pressures, even onerous practices, from without as a result of a globalized world, this state of chronic armed struggle impairs our capacity to make significant progress on our internal problems and to compete effectively with other nations. We put at risk our present and future. "A house divided against itself will fall."

We have to settle this once and for all to move forward as a nation. Both sides have their own shortcomings and excesses in furthering their causes and their principles. Each side has to compromise for the good of all.

We implore the combatants of the ideological divide to craft an agreement based on peace with justice and compassion towards national reconciliation. With peace, justice, compassion, and a spirit of national reconciliation, we can move on and build a better Philippines.

Only given the foregoing conditions, primarily with peace and justice, can we mobilize and harness and take full advantage of our capabilities as a people, and our natural resources, which are considerable, for the fulfillment of our individual and collective needs and aspirations in our own land.

Then our people will no longer be forced by economic circumstances to make a living in foreign lands, where some meet untold sufferings, treated like slaves, machines or commodities. Given the appropriate leadership, we can be creative and productive in a land we call home.

We appeal to the National Democratic Front of the Communist Party of the Philippines (NDF-CPP) to reflect on the relevancy of their ideological orientation and their vow for a protracted war and the armed struggle given the undeniable and massive changes in the USSR and Eastern Europe and in Communist China and Vietnam where formerly rigid doctrines and have adapted to economic realities and, to lesser extent, to more humane and human values.

We appeal to the leadership and the idealistic adherents of the National Democratic Front to assess their achievements in the 41 years that they have been waging this war of national liberation.

We appeal to the National Democratic Front to consider the alternative of a peaceful struggle to attain political power in collaboration with other groups which, like them, are also fighting for a better Philippines, but pursuing it within the parameters of the law and democratic processes.

We are convinced that an unending armed struggle in our homelandfighting for principles through violence and armsmay have become passe and ineffective in the Philippines and the world in contemporary times in the light of more urgent and critical issues such as inexorable climate change, clashing systems of religious faith, a global political and economic order reeling from the disastrous economic policies in America, and in the homeland, massive environmental degradation, and the destruction of the network that sustains life.

We appeal to our political and our governmental leaders and their economic and business supporters to be more receptive and responsive to the concerns of the poor and marginalized, to be more effective [fair] and transparent in governance, to enlarge the democratic space for dialogue, to exercise utmost restraint in the use of force and to refrain from committing human rights abuses in the course of defending our people, and to adhere to the principles that govern a civilized society, a society that ostensibly has a Constitution and is governed by the rule of law.

Whatever divides usbe it political, social, and economicis not beyond human resolution, nor beyond compromises that are beneficial to everyone concerned.

We implore both sides of the ideological divide to convert their swords into plowshares, to harness those weapons for productive, creative uses for a nation in dire straights.

We believe that the pursuit of PEACE with JUSTICE is a cause greater than anyone of uswhatever political or social persuasion we may have, whatever cultural values we cherish.

We firmly believe that Peace with Justice and the achievement of very real possibilitieshealth, progress, prosperity, happiness, hope for a better tomorrow, and a people treated with dignity and not disrespected all over the worldare not beyond fulfillment for the 101 million Filipinos, for their children and the future generations of our people. We believe that it is within our power to make that dream a reality.

Our Fervent Prayer: Let us exert every effort to have Peace and Justice enshroud our Beloved Homeland.

For Bayan Ko! Onward to a Better Philippines, we are:

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Lakeisha NguyenBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
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Philippine Government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines


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