Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo has called on the youth to condemn violence, saying bloodshed would not pull people out of poverty and lawlessness.
Robredo made the call during the EDSA Ortigas Consortium of Schools (EDSOR) Peace Congress held on Friday.
“Here in the Philippines, we are faced with issues of terrific scale and complexity. Violence is the quick fix that we must prevent and condemn. Violence is a way of cutting corners, where complex problems are met with simplistic but ineffective solutions,” she said in her speech before students of La Salle Greenhills, Poveda, Immaculate Conception Academy and Xavier School.
“Violence is not the right response to poverty and inequality. Bloodshed will not solve crime and injustice. In protecting the Filipino people and the interests of our nation, we must not resort to the brutality of warfare. Our democracy has no room for political intimidation or violence. Progress can always be achieved peacefully,” Robredo added.
More than 6,200 drug suspects have been killed in less than six months of the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte without charges or trial—a death toll that includes children.
On Thursday, Robredo said she would not tame her opposition to extrajudicial killings resulting from the government’s bloody anti-drug war even if it would cost her popularity.
“Jesus himself lived a life of deliberate peace, even in the midst of turmoil and persecution. We must choose peace as He did. Every act of violence inflicted on the world is the rejection of God’s love. Violence, physical or otherwise, disrespects the dignity of every life,” the vice president said.
“We are creatures of understanding built in the image of God. Let us make the most of this grace by becoming faithful stewards of all creation. Peace may not give us quick answers, but it requires us to think carefully before we act. Peace urges us to consider the welfare of our world, to respect the fundamental rights of every human being, and to find solutions that will work in the long term,” Robredo said.
LLANESCA T. PANTI