Former AFP chief: Truth, justice for lasting peace
BAGUIO CITY—Former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Eduardo Oban, guest of honor and speaker at the Philippine Military Academy Homecoming at Fort del Pilar on Saturday, during his keynote speech centered on truth and justice for lasting peace.
Oban, currently the executive director for Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces, is a member of PMA Class of 1979.
“I believe that trust is the foundational principle in any relationship. Trust is the strongest pillar towards peace building. Yes we hear numerous calls for truth. Nasaan ang katiwasayan kapag salat sa katotohanan, for what is peace when we could not see what is supposedly being shown, what is peace when we couldn’t hear what is being said,” he said.
Oban made his speech as the government’s deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has been currently placed in question by critics because of the bungled police operation in Maguindanao last January in an MILF turf.
The chain of command has also been questioned because of the execution of the said operation. The military was kept in the dark of the covert operation, which led to 44 deaths of police officers.
“It has been said the truth shall set us free. Yes, we hear cries for justice. Nararapat lang na magkaroon ng kasagutan sa ating mga agam-agam (Our questions should have answers). Justice should not only conform to sound reason. It should also dispel doubtful hearts,” he said.
“In the midst of all these, we continue to hear among the many tales of gallantry in Mindanao. The cries of Pata Island, of Patikul, of Al Barka and, lately, of Mamasapano. We convulse with the thought that too many lives have been lost but the greatest casualty here is peace we altogether seek,” he said.
He emphasized that to achieve peace, it will take efforts of the entire nation.
“Securing our people from threats of human violence does not guarantee peace,” he said before over a thousand of alumni in attendance at the homecoming.
He cited hunger, injustice, ignorance, social prejudice and corruption and even climate change as factors that cripple the nation’s quest for peace.
“If only the world were one big academy it would be a much better place to live in, for the values and lessons instilled upon us provide us the basic tools to get effective leadership. The alphabet here starts with accountability and ends with zealousness to get things done properly,” Oban said.
He reminded the alumni to remain loyal to their values and ideals and to the country.
“We owe them what we are today, nararapat lang na patuloy natin silang suklian ng tapat na paninilbihan at ng kabayanihan,” he said.
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