On the video released by media, the President was unusually so composed and calm while he delivered his Christmas Message, a posture that could define “the presidential calm”. Considering that most of his speaking deliveries on media somehow peaks with an exposure of expletives and scales of temper.
Besides his calmness, another odd thing is his message for “Filipinos to embrace each other with compassion, kindness and reconciliation this holiday season.” This came barely a week after announcing that “no mercy” should be given to members of the New People’s Army and threatening that “blood will flow” under his campaign to rid the country of the revolutionary forces.
However, the situation on the ground betrays the sincerity of the president’s message, no matter how many times amplified by the government’s propaganda agencies and corporate media.
And while most Filipinos, Christian or not, can agree and can unite on his urging that, “As we take part in this (Christmas) joyous occasion,” to “contemplate on the worth of the lessons that we can learn from the narrative of Christ’s birth…” there remains the question of whether the president understands the real meaning of “compassion, kindness, and reconciliation.”
The Duterte administration has even denied the Filipino people of the traditional Yuletide ceasefire with the communist-led NPA. There has been no let-up on the killings and attacks against progressives and government critics, military operations in the countryside and indigenous peoples’ communities, not even in the spirit of Christmas.
Without question, the message somehow reminds that society is guided by reflections of the lessons of history (the narrative of Christ’s birth); and the sustained values of humanity (…ideas of compassion, kindness, and reconciliation…) which strengthens a collective resolve for all oppressed to stand up and unmask all those who attempt to deceive the people against their progress.
Christmas, taken in the context of how the birth of Jesus’ ushered an avenue for people in his time, to question existing norms imposed by the powerful demonstrates that only those willing to question status quo and a united people can truly resist tyranny.
Borrowing the words from PRRD’s message, yes, together let us bring hope and peace to our nation, not only on this Yuletide season as we welcome the coming year with much hope and optimism to push for the continuance of the peace negotiations between the leadership of the contending parties: the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, towards the urgent resolution of the root causes of the longest running rebellion in Asia: For the respect of the people’s right to self-determination and recognition of the right to ancestral lands, no to martial law, stop the killings, and so on.
May these holidays help us reflect on the true situation of the nation that puts the majority of its people (us) into the worst economic crisis experienced, and may it help us resolve to unite with others and be a part of the solution instead of being complacent and a part of the problem.
May the best of this Yuletide Season be for all! Mabiag kitedjo emin! # nordis.net