• Petition for peace or permissiveness?

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    A PERSON who claims to be one of the injured PNP-SAF commandos who survived the Mamasapano Massacre, and hides behind the name “Jason Navarro,” has launched a petition using the advocacy platform Change.org. He wishes to gather thousands of signatures to urge the Philippine government, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP to stop the ongoing military offensives in Mindanao against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). (See our P1 story yesterday “Mamasapano survivor calls for peace.”)

    He says the military offensives against the BIFF will lead to more suffering. Here are most of the heart-rending words of his appeal.

    “The true face of war is not that dead soldier or rebel on the battlefield. It is a mother fleeing her home with a cartload of offsprings, amid sounds of gunfire.”

    “I am a Special Action Force [SAF] officer. I lost 44 of my comrades and was wounded in battle. I will carry physical and emotional scars for life.”

    “I too, am a child of Mindanao. In childhood, I watched the flight of thousands of people from nearby towns. Entire families desperately seeking safe haven, war having obliterated their communities.”

    He called for an end to decades of conflict in Mindanao that have claimed the lives of thousands of soldiers, Muslim rebels and civilians and displaced thousands of families.

    “A year after the Zamboanga City siege, thousands of war refugees continue to huddle on the grandstand. Food, water and other basic needs remain scarce. Many of their kin are dead, from the fighting or the diseases that have swept through evacuation centers.”

    “To those who scream for war: What do you know of the lives lost? We, the people of Mindanao, are not pawns to be pushed here and there. Whether or not government wins battles, the people lose.”

    “I wrote this petition to give voice to the many who share my belief in peace. I write for the countless mothers who have seen offspring sacrificed to war. No mother would want to see her child holding a gun.”

    “No prize, no victory will ease their pain. War does not distinguish among faiths. War snuffs out lives – Filipino lives.”

    ‘I am SAF. I know war. I fear the day when my family comes face to face with it. Even as we seek justice for my fallen comrades, let us repeat again and again: War is not the solution. I hope you sign my petition. Together, let us send this message: Peace is the answer.”

    Harsh but correct reality
    Gloria M. Kuizon, one of the earliest Times readers to react to our news story about “Jason Navarro’s” campaign, wrote the following:

    “I suspect this fellow who goes by the name of Jason Navarro is either really a Mamasapano Massacre survivor afflicted with the Stockholm syndrome or an invention of the Malaysian-MILF propagandists.

    “Yes, we must have peace in Mindanao. But there should also be the firm rule of law. The government military is going after the BIFF, the Abu Sayyaf and other illegal armed groups. Does ‘Jason Navarro’ want these hooligans to just be left alone, to grow and continue doing their violent and criminal activities?

    “What he should advocate is for the MILF leadership to tell their armies to join the AFP and PNP in finishing off the BIFF, the Abu Sayyaf and other illegal armies!”

    We totally agree with the harsh but realistic comment of reader Kuizon.

    And we wish to say to “Jason Navarro” that we in The Times, Ms. Kuizon and like-minded Filipinos do not “scream for war” as he seems to think supporters of law-enforcement measures are doing.

    We are saddened by the sentimental but permissive stand of “Jason Navarro” who seems to forget that the failure to enforce the rule of law is precisely what has brought the reign of violence and disorder in many parts of the Muslim provinces of Mindanao.

    Unfortunately his stand is shared by not a few Pollyanna-minded civic leaders of our country who claim to be champions of “Peace.” They do not realize that their permissive and appeasement outlook is exactly what the bandits and rebel groups want most Filipinos to espouse. For that mentality works to cripple the government’s law-enforcement agencies. It prevents them from doing its primary duty of protecting the ordinary citizens from evildoers–robbers, kidnappers, the Abu Sayyaf and other illegal armed criminal groups, terrorists like the BIFF, those members of the MILF who with the BIFF massacred the PNP-SAF company in Mamasapano.

    These are the Philippine Republic’s enemies that slaughtered the Fallen 44 Heroes, whose heroic deaths do not seem to have any value to “Jason Navarro.”

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    12 Comments

    1. lleuxquiocho on

      his advocacy seems to go against the grain of what his comrades in the PNP are espousing… to achieve piece, there justice should be established… common… Jason??? your name directly comes from the Friday the 13th series!!!

    2. war is not bad per se if the objective is to fight those who sow fear and terror to everybody through intimidation and force (guns and explosives). those who advocate to have peace with these people (terrorist & bandits) will end up the first victims of fear and terror. remember Gen. Bautista and his comrades who went to the enemy’s lair without carrying any weapon with them to talk peace on the assurance of security by the enemy? they were massacred and butchered without mercy! people who advocate sowing fear and terror to society know no laws, much more about protocol, except the power of guns & explosives.

    3. If he’s truly a Mamasapano SAF survivor, he should have better kept silent and save his own honor… his words are but a disgrace to his brave fallen SAF comrades. There will never be peace in a land where bandits and armed criminals flourish. Only when law is well implemented and all those who violate the law are dealt with the full bite of the fangs of the law will peace and order be achieved.

      Tolerance of the existence of these bandits will not make a land peaceful, it is only accepting lawlessness. If he thinks law enforcement is against the pursuit of peace then he should resign at will, he is not an agent of the government.

      But I guess and I believe he is not truly as he claims he is… he is an impostor… The fact that he cannot stand by his name… WE ARE NOT ALL FOOLS AS YOU THINK, EAT YOUR DAMN LIES AND PROPAGANDA…

    4. redford camote on

      This jason navarro is a farce created by people who wants peace that will lead to the disintegration of our country. Passing the bbl in its present form or even an altered one will eventually lead to the death of peace we all longed for. It will, in the near future lose parts of Mindanao to Malaysia and it will start supporting other groups that will sprout like mushroom in Mindanao. The BBL is a bad deal, better to have no deal than bad deal or to have a much better deal and at a strong position. Let us not be held hostage by their by their pronouncement that they cannot and will not be agreeable to any deal other than what it is in its present form.
      We want peace but peace with justice and it looks like that they want peace is a lie, they want control, they want to rule.

    5. Eddie de Leon on

      “Jason Navarro”‘s appeal sounds like one made by a pro-MILF/BIFFpoet!

      Yes, we should have peace and no war. But we should first exterminate lawless armies like the BIFF, the ASG and those maintained by the Ampatuans and other warlords.

    6. I believe this person( Jason Navarro) is not a SAF member,He is one of the rebel member,either BIF,MILF,Abu Sayaf.This letter is not letter for peace,this is letter for convince more rebels in our country,

    7. the gov’t will arrest you for illegal POSSESSION OF AIR GUN if you have one. but cannot repeat CANNOT arrest those hooligans in mindano or any place in the phil. with high powered fire arms.

    8. This call by Navarro is pure cowardice. This was also the calls many years ago by some sectors when a military operation was about to finish off moro rebels they were pursuing. Unwisely, Ramos, Arroyo administrations heeded and thus these lawless elements continue until this time to fool the government authorities everytime their backs are on the wall.

    9. hekorba korbal on

      Yes you’re right Ms. Gloria Kuizon! This Jason Navarro is a fake, he wans to mislead the Filipino People, but the people are not foolish to buy his hallocination and chaotic petition

    10. I agree that what we need is peace all over the land. But a Peace that engenders development for All. A true development WITH A VOICE, and NOT the kind of development that is mouthed by Aquino and his calculating and manipulative cohorts in both the government and private sectors.
      Peace WITH Development, and Development WITH Peace grounded on the principle of Justice for ALL. Afterall Justice For ALL means intergeneration deference to the Rule of Law.
      The valuing of these principles must be shared by ALL if we were to outgrow incompetence, mediocrity and deceit.

    11. sonny dela cruz on

      This guy is not a soldier of the Republic of the Philippines. He should be discharged from the service. No soldier shall protect his own enemy of the republic. He shouldn’t be in the service.