Amidst the deepening crisis in the peace process brought about by the massacre of elements of the Special Forces of the the Armed Forces of the Philippines that caused the deaths of nineteen (19) soldiers, the YES FOR PEACE — Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan went online to mark the 55th anniversary of the United Nations.
THE PEACE WALL, a blogsite created by the the Office the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to gather from different stakeholders their views and opinions on the nation’s peace process describes YES FOR PEACE as “an inter-agency peace education campaign targeted to 18 million students from Grade four to fourth year high school”.
Jazminda Lumang, Executive Director of IBON Foundation, a well-respected research firm which contributed its expertise in formulating the ten questions posed in the open referendum of YES FOR PEACE though its website www.yesforpeace.info said, “We are confident that the questions posed for this year’s YES FOR PEACE campaign that we have filed with the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court for the information of the Chief Justice and its members reflect the sentiments of the Filipino people.”
Ernesto A. Alcanzare, Lead Organizer of YES FOR PEACE intimated, “The interactive online component of the campaign is to complement and perhaps hasten the conduct of the paper and ink campaign among pupils and students in all public elementary and high schools as well as their parents and relatives.”
“Visitors to www.yesforpeace.info may volunteer as coordinators in Schools Divisions and Districts where they reside and donate questionnaires and other materials needed to reach as many Filipinos as possible in the true spirit of Bayanihan inherent in us,” Alcanzare continued.
Earlier, President Benigno S. Aquino III declared the government’s policy, “We must revive the peace process on the basis of a comprehensive understanding of the root causes of the conflict, under clear policies that pave and clear the way ahead, and driven by a genuine desire to attain a just and lasting peace. We shall endeavor to restore confidence in the peace process that is transparent and participatory, and renew our faith in our shared vision of a peaceful, secure and prosperous future under one sovereign flag.”
BAYAN MUNA Party List Representative Teddy Casiño, one of those who drafted the questions added, “Since sovereignty rests upon the Filipino people often referred to by President Aquino as his bosses, now is the time for all Filipinos to come together as one to move for the permanent cessation of hostilities between the government and all armed revolutionary groups in 2012 and the earnest implementation of agreed upon peace and development programs and projects within the term of this administration.”
Casiño explained, “We have chosen to launch the electronic component of YES FOR PEACE during the celebration of the founding of the United Nations to underscore that the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law referred to by YES FOR PEACE is what the United Nations General Assembly has adopted.”
The Philippine Postal Corporation currently headed by former Bulacan Governor Josefina dela Cruz has continuously been receiving responses to YES FOR PEACE since it adopted the campaign as its contribution to the peace process.