Rebel soldiers in peace
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
The reported move of former rebel soldiers to seek elective positions in the coming elections should not be a cause for alarm to the government and the ordinary citizens. In fact, it should be welcomed as a sign that these former military men have realized the futility of instituting changes in the government by unorthodox, even violent means.
So far, at least three of former key men in recent coup attempts against the incumbent government, have confirmed that they are serious in pursuing legal means of getting into the government and work for their advocacies through legal means. This they have done by taking time to return to their own hometowns in order to register as voters and be legitimate part of the electorate, with the right to vote and be voted upon.
We all know how costly those attempts, led by some of the most promising and most talented members of the military had been, both for the government, and for themselves. Through them, many lost their positions and their chances of ever assuming important and responsible positions of leadership in the military.
We do not question their sincerity in launching those attempts, because, if our officials will admit it, they have given these young and idealistic soldiers reason to be frustrated and disgusted with the way things are going, not only in the bureaucracy, but even in the highest seats of power as well. However, such attempts also proved to them that the citizenry is not inclined to support even the most well-intended plans if they would entail violence or, worse, loss of lives.
Many of those who had joined the latest move against the government have since sought to make peace with it by recognizing the error of their ways and offering to help their country by other means. Some remain adamant, but that is something they have to resolve themselves.
In the meantime, the announced plans of others to continue their struggle for reforms, not through force, but through legal means, is something that we, too, should welcome, even as we also try to help them reach the goals they sincerely believe will bring not only peace, but also an atmosphere where everybody has a chance to attain success.*