Walking Together Seeking Peace
“Guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:79)
It is with jubilation that the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI) welcomes the upcoming resumption of the formal peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) slated next week.
The IFI, dedicating herself for the shepherding of God’s people towards a full and abundant life, has always been one with the Filipino people’s struggle for a just and lasting peace in the country. The Church is hoping that, this time, the peace talks would finally lead to the tackling of substantial issues that would address the roots of the armed conflict and spare the Filipino people of the hardships they face in their daily grind.
The highly anticipated release of political prisoners, mostly consultants of the NDFP for the peace talks, goes to show the commitment of the Philippine government to address head on the issues of the people before the negotiating table. Political prisoners should have never been imprisoned in the first place. We pray that the remaining political prisoners, a big percentage of whom are poor farmers fighting for their right to till the lands, be freed at last.
It is but just to aspire that the peace talks could contribute if not result to the uplifting of conditions of the people. The indigenous peoples victimized by militarization, urban poor families facing threats of demolition of their homes, workers, whose very hands established the IFI, waiting for an end to contractualization, among others, are on tenterhooks if this could give birth to “change” that President Rodrigo Duterte promised when he was elected last May.
Now more than ever, the Iglesia Filipina Independiente is one with the Filipino people in continuing their vigorous endeavor, as it is where the strength of the negotiation table lies.
The Filipino people have struggled for so long. It is about time to attain peace.
On behalf of the Obispo Maximo,
Rt Revd Joselito T. Cruz
Iglesia Filipina Independiente
18th August 2016