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War of any kind is always messy

09:09 PM November 17, 2011

With all due respect to Commander in Chief Benigno Aquino III, may I inquire who drafted his policy speech? (“Aquino: Success not measured by wars won,” Inquirer, 11/10/11).

I am confused about this statement. For what then is the rationale of having the Armed Forces of the Philippines? Are our soldiers not the trained warriors tasked to protect our sovereign nation from lawlessness?

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And how else do we protect the Filipino people from homegrown insurgencies or secessionist movements? Shall we confine our fighting troops inside the barracks, and merely let them engage in morning formations and military drills?

I do not suggest that our fighting troops must be warmongers. Neither do I suggest that they be shackled and turned into pacifists.

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War, of course, is messy. But that is the nature of conflict, when we engage in war. The war against lawlessness, the war against the partition of Mindanao, or the war against subversion is always messy.

In peacemaking, any sovereign nation has to employ its coercive powers to keep peace. Even the Angel Michael, to maintain peace in heavenly places, has to engage Lucifer and his demonic forces in cosmic wars.

The speech was at best a good academic exercise in writing a dissertation paper or thesis. But the reality of the times points to the contrary. I do not think the enemies of the state would bow to the wishes of President Aquino. I believe that after the policy speech he delivered at the turnover ceremonies in the Philippine Army parade grounds, the enemies are now celebrating their victory.

—BOB GABUNA,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Aquino, letters, Military, peace process, wars
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