A Nonkilling Meditation

The Bohol Chronicle
August 3, 2014

About two weeks ago I received an email from Bill Bhaneja, a Canadian leader on our Council for Global Nonkilling who had inspired me with his idea of proposing a Department of Peace in Canada. So I proposed the establishment of a Department of Peace in the Philippines to then Senator Manuel Villar who filed a bill that Senator Cynthia Villar followed up.

But the bill has not made progress just as our leaders have not supported our Movement for a Nonkilling Philippines: Tungo sa Kalinaw at Walang Pagpatay. And Help Buil a Killing-Free World!

This time Bill Bhaneja sent us “A Nonkilling Meditation” by Mark Gerzon because Bill was musing over Nonkilling that day and hoped it would also inspire us.

“A Nonkilling Meditation
By Mark Gerzon

“Human Beings are moral, they have both ego and conscience. We know when it’s wrong and when it’s right.

“When we are wrong and are unable to speak our heart out, cover our acts with empty words, we then become deeply wounded humans. Our heads hung in shame as we are unable to answer to our conscience.

“All this is felt when we become witness to killings of innocent:
– when a child is burnt alive by bystanders
– when a child is a victim of stabbing or gun killing
– when a child commits suicide
– when a child is killed as part of a collateral damage
– when a child’s life is taken by a sniper or a soldier
– when in the last Century 200 million were killed, mostly innocent mothers and children

“No amount of warfare, violence, counter violence justifies killing as means of resolving conflict or victory. Violence is preventable like any disease – not eliminated but preventable.

“Work towards ending killing and its prevention is a hard slog for which all world leaders were chosen by their people to find solutions. Ought they not be ashamed of, apologize and repent about their inability to tackle this basic human right TO LIVE?

“Do they seek forgiveness when in private for what they or their predecessors have done, and resolve: NO MORE KILLING.

“Sustainability of our fragile planet earth can only be accomplished by Nonkilling.

“Resurrect as nonkilling knowledge is being discovered and made freely available (www.nonkilling.org) to assist leaders and people of the world to end this era of killing.

“We keep walking.”

What made Mark Gerzon compose his “Meditation”? Anoop Swarup wrote the following observation.

“The piece by Mark Gerzon is moving and brilliant !

“The downing of the [Malaysian MH17 in East Ukraine] and the Israel-Palestine conflict is a stark warning of the looming dangers to international peace particularly killing of innocent civilians. As aptly mentioned  ​in the piece, an endless stream of innocent deaths — not to mention other indignities, insults, humiliations and degradations — will never lead to victory”.

“Why we do not have a  ‘NonKilling Principle’ drafted (to be appropriately worded) for the UN Charter for all its Members !”

Our Movement for a Nonkilling Philippines. I should also ask: Why are most of our lay and religious Filipino leaders indifferent to the appeal of our Movement for a Nonkilling Philippines for their support since 2011?

First, I should acknowledge that the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (first Annabelle Abaya and then Teresita Quintos Deles) supported our survey and research on violence and nonkilling that made us write our Report. And that the PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation under Chairman Ephraim Genuino paid the printing of our Report and its free distribution by us to our government, religious, and lay leaders.

But President B.S. Aquino has not supported the proposal of Our Movement for a Nonkilling Philippines to make nonkilling specifically a goal and policy, not just seek peace in general terms as the end to violence and rebellion. Yes, we are happy and encouraged by his strong support to the Bangsamoro peace process and the establishment of the proposed Bangsanoro political entity.

I have appealed to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines since 2011 as they convene in Metro Manila, orally and in writing and the distribution of our published Report: Let’s Build a Nonkilling Philippines! But they have completely ignored our appeal. I have written Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle but he has not responded either. Neither has Vice-President Jejomar Binay or several legislators responded to our appeals.

Recently, I proposed to Senator Grace Poe and Representative Ma. Eleanor Robredo to champion our revised proposal to pass a law to establish our proposed Department of Peace that adopts the goal and policy of building a nonkilling Philippines, and I hope to see them as soon as I hear from them.

Again, I want to thank Governor Edgar M. Chatto, Vice-Governor Concepcion O. Lim, and the whole Bohol Sangguniang Panlalawigan for establishing the Bohol Nonkilling Society, the first provincial council to do so.

For emphasis, let me restate the rationale/justification for “building a nonkilling Philippines.” and

As defined in our 75-page Report, “a non-killing Philippines” is an envisioned ideal Philippines marked by “the absence of killing, threats to kill, and conditions conducive to killing.” In practice the MN-KP aims for progressive change that will make Filipinos value, uplift and sustain life, and create the conditions, structures and behaviors that will drastically reduce violence and killing in the country. It means building and sustaining peace and progress everywhere for the good of all.

The Report asserts that a nonkilling Philippines is a desirable vision and a measurable goal. Nonkilling can be measured by the proposed Philippine Index of Killing/Nonkilling that will record, map, and monitor the incidence of killings nationwide. This will indicate the various kinds of killings and their probable causes. Communities that excel in nonkilling peacefulness will be recognized and their experience sought to be replicated elsewhere. A Department of Peace is recommended to focus and coordinate efforts toward peace, nonkilling, and the protection of human rights.

Published by Kalayaan College, the Report indicates specific conditions that lead to violence and killing and the factors conducive to building a peaceful, nonkilling Philippines. It appeals to our leaders in the government, civil society, and the media  for support to ensure a sustained nationwide movement.


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