FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City – Peace in the country is realizable but it is not lasting because of too many intervening factors, both man-made and natural, Undersecretary Eduardo Oban of the Presidential Commission on Visiting Forces said here.
Oban, who was the guest of honor and speaker during the annual alumni homecoming of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) here, said peace can never be seen and it is the mandate of the long gray line to secure and protect the people.
“We must be secured in our homes, we must be secured in our beliefs and we must be secured against forces that tend to conspire and disrupt our day to day lives, including those threats of terrorists, rogue forces and aggressive camps,” Oban stressed.
Oban underscored securing the people is the bastion of their freedom but it would not always mean that they are spared from human violence because of factors on hunger, anger, injustice, ignorance, poverty and corruption aside from the serious negative effects of climate change to their living condition.
Undersecretary Oban likened the country’s peace to that of a ‘lion and deer who can sleep together but one of them cannot sleep at all.’
“Corruption undermines the country’s quest for peace. Corruption deprives the people, especially the poor the good quality of life that tends to bring peace and corruption creates divisiveness that affects peace,” Oban added.
Aside from man-made factors, Undersecretary Oban emphasized the serious negative effects of climate change such as in the recent cases of Typhoons Pepeng, Ondoy, Pablo, Sendong, Yolanda and the earthquake in the Visayas have significantly contributed in the country’s setback in realizing peace.
He challenged the over 2,000 cavaliers who attended this year’s alumni homecoming to follow the footsteps of the country’s fallen heroes by replicating their difficult ways in order to set an example to keep the country’s peace and that they serve as their inspiration in nurturing the quest for peace.
If the country could be likened to the Academy, Oban explained there would be no disruptions on the implementation of peace initiatives because people possess the values of good leaders which is key to lasting peace but unfortunately, the country is not an Academy that is why there are numerous problems confronting the government in the quest for peace.
He urged the military leaders based in the different parts of the country to have their ideas and knowledge counted in the quest for peace because by sharing it to the communities where they work, they have already done a heroic act for the country.
More importantly, Undersecretary Oban cited military officers are also considered public servants and that every military leader should have the full accountability of whatever his actions in relation to the quest for peace, thus, the country can go far in terms of lasting peace once people will be able to be equipped with the core values of the military which are courage integrity and loyalty.
According to him, having the courage to be accountable to make mighty decisions instrumental in achieving peace, having the integrity to stand by such firm decisions and being loyal to the institution that they work will speak well of the country’s quest for peace in the future.
Oban challenged the cavaliers to move forward and fight for the country and people, move forward and fight for truth and justice and move forward in keeping the country’s peace for the benefit of the country’s peace and order situation in the future and thwarting the enemies of peace.
By Dexter A. See