STATEMENT ON THE THREAT OF A US-LED WAR AGAINST IRAQ
Concerned Faculty Members and Staff Loyola Schools Ateneo de Manila University
We, concerned faculty and staff of the Loyola Schools at Ateneo de Manila University, join the millions of people around the world who have demonstrated their opposition to the looming US-led war on Iraq.
We are against weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and oppressive regimes. But the use of military force to solve these problems is much too laden with human costs, political risks and moral contradictions that it should only be employed as a last resort. Moreover, when a unilateral “preemptive” war is unleashed by a superpower, the consequences can be far worse. War and military occupation in this context lead not only to the killing and displacement of people, but more so to deepening the very wounds of injustice, anger and hopelessness that breed and sustain terrorists and dictators.
Thus we strongly protest President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s openly vocal and unqualified endorsement of the Bush administration’s policy on Iraq. We call on the Philippine government to stand instead with the United Nations in exhausting all peaceful means of effecting compliance with international law, including the strengthening and expansion of the weapons inspections regime. In a world where there is a need to build more effective and democratic institutions of global governance, the Philippine government must dissociate itself from any war on Iraq made outside the authority of the UN.
We urge the Arroyo government to consider foremost in its foreign policy positions, the safety and well-being of overseas Filipino workers and their families. Furthermore, in our ethnically diverse country and region, the government must take more closely to heart the sensitivities and historical grievances of various cultural communities, particularly in the present context, the millions of Muslims in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. The government cannot ignore their concerns in its pronouncements and decisions, and worse, resort to a dominantly military solution to an essentially political and economic problem.
We live in a poverty-stricken, divided and precarious world. In many instances, globalization has only deepened inequities, marginalization and violence. But as we have witnessed this past weekend, it can also make possible global movements and mechanisms for peace, justice and human solidarity. It is to the imagining and construction of such institutions of global democracy and governance that we commit ourselves.
February 17, 2003
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
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 on Mar 26th 2003