Towards a Non-Killing Filipino Society

Manila Bulletin, January 8, 2005 | Go to article overview

Towards a Non-Killing Filipino Society


THIS latest contribution to peace studies is based on the lectures given by noted scholars last year. Edited by Dr. Jose V. Abueva, AAQPF chair and Kalayaan College president, the lecture series which brought to the Philippines Dr. Glenn Paige, founding president of the Center for Global Nonviolence was jointly sponsored by the Aurora Aragon Quezon Peace Foundation and the Kalayaan College.

Dr. Paiges book on which the lecture series was based asks the question, "Is a non-killing society possible?" If no, why not? If yes, why?

This question elicited responses from all over the world which ranged from "Its absolutely unthinkable" (American political scientists) to "Its completely possible (Korean political philosopher). The word "non-killing," which according to the author is not found in the dictionary means "a society, local to global, in which there is no killing of humans, and no threats to kill; no weapons designed to kill humans and no justifications for using them."

Instead of merely raising the question, the planners of the forum series thought it would be much more worthwhile to gather together peace scholars and elicit insights that would lead to an implementable agenda for research, policy, and action. As AAQPF Trustee Howard Dee stated in his paper, the question is not whether a non-killing society is possible for us or not. The question is: Do we have the desire and the will to make it happen, and how long shall we wait to muster the courage to begin this task, even if all odds appear to be against us and when all evil forces are conspiring against us.

He advances seven propositions, which are first, to define and expand the concept to include the attributes of a life-sustaining society, a society that does not kill but saves, gives, and maintains life; two, "Thou shall not kill" or to transform this nation into Gods dominion, where people are free, where justice prevails, where there is peace and sharing, caring, and loving; third, Development is the new name for peace. Here he outlines the five principles articulated by President Cory Aquino, which he believes are still valid today in defining a lifesustaining society; fourth, a reality of injustice. A non-killing society can be possible only under a reign of justice governing all aspects of national life; fifth; the Fatima Proposition. Because a culture of death prevails, we need to make a moral about-face; sixth, a history of bloodshed in Mindanao and therefore, the need to provide opportunities to the people in this forsaken place, to mount a national effort towards a total development approach involving commitment of business and civil society, to rectify injustices on the Moro religious and cultural rights. …

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