President George P. Bush/span>
White House, Washington D.C.
October 15, 2002
Warmest greetings in behalf of the Filipino people!
I am a college student studying at the University of the Philippines, one of the most prestigious in our country and one which offered academic excellence. It is through this institution initiated by past American colonizers in our country that I humbly offer my plea for a better and peaceful world. I am sure that you aspire the same thing. And because of this, please, in the name of freedom and peace, do not force yourself and your Iraqi counterpart to verge into another useless war.
It has been our great malady to see, hear, and feel the tension rising from both your country and Iraq. You may say that our country doesn’t have anything to do with it. But I am afraid I will have to disagree with you because ever since the American colonization, the Philippines is very connected to you in many ways than one. Our government has, ever since then, relies on your support in economic, and recently, in military arena. We are not economically wealthy, so to speak, but our rich culture and warm people can compensate that liability. Because of this, large part of our government revenues came from foreign investments and Overseas Contract Workers particularly in the Middle East. But because of the tension arising from this conflict, OFWs are deemed to come home and foreign investors doubt to invest in our country because of further peso devaluation. These events have in return caused major unemployment problems, commodity price increase, and onslaught poverty all over the land.
Mr. President, our country just like Afghanistan has suffered enough human rights violations and social injustices brought by your worldwide militarization in your fight against terrorism which affected many innocent lives around the world. Isn’t it enough how your retaliation against Al-Qaeda has ruined not only the country itself, but also the lives of the Afghans? Now, you are including Iraq and its people in a war that has gotten out of hand just because a Superpower like your country has been attacked by few heartless people? Are these really terrorism acts you are fighting or are it still a fight for more power and prestige? I am not in the position to tell you the things that should be done, but just a reminder, violence cannot be justified by another violent act. If this is the case, then our society today is just returning to Barbarism that we have long ago banished in place of civilization, freedom, and democracy.
Our world needs human evolution in terms of humanitarian ways, and not revolution and wars. If your government cannot assume the role of being the true leader in terms of humanitarian development, then how can all the other countries see you as a model of true growth and development? The answer behind our search for freedom and peace lies not on how we exert our power over other people. Maybe it lies beneath our heart, in loving and reaching out to other people on the opposite side of our world. Through this Mr. President, I am hoping that somehow you will let your better judgment dominate and the welfare of the greater populace be the aim of your administration. Because the power that you hold in your hand involves everyone in the world. Not just your country and your citizen, but also every living thing on Earth.
Princess L. Balahadia
University of the Philippines, Manila
The date posted here is due to our website rebuild, it does not reflect the original date this article was posted. This article was originally posted in Yonip in 2002