By Francis Wakefield
Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza Tuesday said civilians should take a stand on armed conflict happening in their areas.
Dureza made the statement on the issue of communist rebel attacks on the Negros islands and Samar region which was raised during the “Understanding Federalism in the Philippine Context” media forum for the Visayas region held in Cebu City.
Dureza said in order for the attacks to stop, they must rise up and organize themselves in a uniting manner and that they should converge with the military for their security.
“We are so saddened by the many incidences there but key trigger there is pag ang mga tao ay hirap — they’re so isolated and they feel that they are abandoned, they can easily be persuaded to doing other things. So you really have to improve the lives of people on the ground if you want a long term and sustainable stabilization of security section in the area,” Dureza said.
He also urged the media to engage the public by providing stories based on truth and fairness.
“Journalists make a huge impact when it comes to national decision-making. Get the people to understand why it’s necessary to involve them on issues so that they can have a sense of ownership with our efforts. There and only then can we see some positive results in our engagement for peace,” Dureza said.