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The RPM-M’s vision of peace

2 September 2010

The significant changes brought about the globalized tensions and conflicts have influenced the outlook and frameworks of various institutions, groups, and revolutionary parties to review and rethink their strategies and methodologies in conflict transformation and peace building works.

The RPMM strongly believes that effective methods to transform conflict and build infrastructure for peace is to understand the nature and causes of conflicts in their historical and current contexts. It has fully understood that the conflicts, violence and war in the Philippines had been caused by the globalized greed and exploitation of the more than 50% of its population by the few whose claim is enshrined in the neo-liberal led capitalist policies and in direct connivance of the big and local capitalists and implemented by government machineries.

This kind of set-up has historically evolved and intensified in the current period. It has fortified the system of effectively blocking or even stifling the all-sided development of the people to freely determine their economic, political and cultural lives. This is the system that has directly caused the extreme poverty and violence in the country today. It has continuously created the development and intensification of the militarist and terrorist framework within the opposite pole of the divide.

This kind of conflict and violence as perpetuated by a system in the country that the RPMM anchors its conflict transformation and peace building works today.

RPMM has launched a revolutionary struggle to address and help resolve the exploitative and oppressive system and to help achieve a radical change in the country. It clearly understands that revolutionary struggle to achieve radical change is not only done through the armed revolution. In the current context such change can effectively be achieved mainly thru non-war options.

The operationalization of the radical and peaceful options has been translated into struggles for concrete reforms with its strategic contents of democracy and anti-capitalist globalization. The gains and victories of the struggles for reforms will eventually weakened the system that breeds conflicts and violence and nurture the growth of the seed of genuine and sustainable peace.

The concept of peace for the RPMM is the process of struggling and achieving the democratic and nationalist aspirations of the peoples of Mindanao together with the people of the country and in unity of all the peoples of the world.

The conflict transformation and peace building for the RPMM is the intertwining of the process and their goals. It is decisively important for the RPMM that the manner in which the stakeholders and interest groups participate in the conflict transformation and peace building process for it will determine the nature of what it wants to achieve.

The paradigm shift helps the RPMM to understand violence and conflicts in the light of its concept of peace and work to change the system and the infrastructure which have caused and perpetrated them.

Building peace is building opportunities and creating situation where the poverty of the people is concretely addressed mainly by the people themselves working for a better economic situation and at the same time strengthening and empowering them to work for the resolution of the conflicts and sustain efforts in the eradication of reasons for their poverty.

For the RPMM, working and building peace is achieving concrete development of the economic, political and cultural well being of the people by themselves and for themselves.

In the current situation this means democratic and economic reforms in government policies and programs which have been dictated by capitalist led globalization. Engaging in armed and violent confrontations to attain these reforms and gains are counter productive because aside from the lives and properties which will be lost and destroyed such option under the current context, would surely add and even prolong the agony and miseries of the already suffering people.

The situation can even be taken advantage by armed military opportunists to agitate the people to fight the government or promote their own interest by using war to prolong the system. But again under the current context, war option will aggravate the violent and confrontative situation where the people, usually the poor civilians, will always be the losers.

The RPMM strongly believes that its existence and survival do not always mean the elimination of its armed opponents in fact in the present context, it has realized that its life is interdependent to its identified enemies.

Launching a revolution to attain radical change and a sustainable one is not only thru violent war but more often today it is most appropriate to struggle for non-war option. The gauge which it uses to measure the effectiveness and rightness of such options is the active participation of the people because they identified with it and the positive result it has impacted on them.

The peoples’ claim of ownership of the peace and the non-war option has helped the RPMM stay the course of peace in the GRP and RPMM peace talks.

In the early stage of the peace process, the RPMM has experienced difficulties in convincing and rallying many of its armed combatants to adapt this new model because they were (strong ideology orientations of the old paradigm) committed and convinced that to achieve genuine peace, a violent war, no matter how difficult and long it will take, is needed. The determination of the peoples in the communities and the positive results of the process have slowly but deeply softened the old framework and the hard line position of the armed combatants.

At present a revolutionary synergy has evolved among the ranks and file of the RPMM and the peoples in the communities. They now fully understand that the struggle for concrete reforms for the betterment of peoples’ lives and their communities should be an integral part of the struggle for structural change. Efforts in transforming conflicts caused by oppressive system are always intertwined with the works for social transformation.

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