Easter Sunday ceasefire pushed in Ukraine conflict

Easter Sunday ceasefire pushed in Ukraine conflict

Partido Reporma ‘senatoriable’ retired Gen. Guillermo Eleazar is greeted with enthusiasm by his supporters in a campaign rally. (Photo from General Eleazar’s Media Friends)

By Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — Stressing that there are no real victors in war but only victims, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and Partido Reporma senatorial candidate retired Gen. Guillermo Eleazar is one with the call issued by Pope Francis for an Easter ceasefire in Ukraine to pave the way for peace through ‘real negotiation’.

In a telephone interview, the country’s former Top Cop expressed sadness over the continuing conflict between Moscow and Kyiv even as he compared the atrocities and devastation now being seen in Ukraine to similar experiences in Mindanao at the height of the Muslim insurgency.

“Walang panalo sa digmaan. Mas makakabuti kung magkakaroon ng negosasyon sa pagitan ng dalawang bansa (Russia and Ukraine) upang maresolba ang problema nila sa maayos na usapan,” Eleazar pointed out as he also cited the destruction of Marawi City when it was taken over by Muslim separatists and then recovered by the military.

Last April 10, Pope Francis called for an Easter truce while asking Ukraine’s Western allies and Russia not to provide more weapons and pick up the combat again.

Echoing the pontiff pronouncement, Eleazar likewise denounced the Ukraine war as it only served as a conflict where defenseless civilians suffered “heinous massacres and atrocious cruelty.”

“What victory is there in planting a flag on a pile of rubble?” the Pope had asked after Russian forces claimed several Ukrainian cities falling into their control.

He condemned the targeting of civilians in Ukraine, calling the discovery of bodies in Bucha near Kyiv a “massacre” and embracing a Ukrainian flag from the “martyred town” while expressing his willingness to contribute to halting the fighting in Ukraine and said he would be ready to travel to Kyiv.

For his part, Eleazar shared his own experience when he had once been assigned to high-conflict areas in the Philippines where rebels of the New People’s Army came into conflict with government military and police units.

“Hindi magandang gunitain dahil ang pumatay ng kapwa ay hindi naaayon sa kagustuhan ng Diyos. Anumang pinagtatalunan o hindi pinagkakasunduan ay maaari namang pag-usapan at iresolba sa paraang maayos at walang karahasan,” he concluded. (AI/MTVN)

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