Filipinos urged: ‘Forget the hate’

MANILA — House Appropriations Committee Chair and Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said on Friday President Rodrigo Duterte wants the nation to “forget the hate” that divided the nation for so long and this is why he is reaching out to all political forces in the country in an attempt to consolidate a united front in the fight against crime, drugs, corruption and poverty.

Nograles said that even during the last campaign period, Duterte already declared his intention to allow the burial of former President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, while announcing his plan to tap members of the Communist Party of the Philippines to become part of his government.

Upon his assumption into office, President Duterte also set into motion various initiatives to pursue peace talks with all rebel factions, including the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels who laid a bloody siege in Zambonga City more than three years ago.

“President Duterte has been very consistent. His position on this matter has been very clear from day one, not because he is pro-Marcos but because he is committed to end the hate that many of our countrymen have towards their fellow Filipinos. I think that we should follow suit and use #forgetthehate as our national hashtag,” Nograles said.

Nograles said that while those who feel aggrieved have the right to peacefully protest the Marcos burial, they must also look at the bigger picture of setting an example for those who have fallen victims to government clashes with the communist insurgency and the Moro separatists who have been waging war against the government for more than three decades now.

“If we follow the argument that there should be no forgiveness without justice, I wonder how we could ever move forward given the tens of thousands of people, including government soldiers and policemen who were killed by insurgents. President Duterte wants this cycle of hate to stop so that we all can have a fresh start,” Nograles said.

Nograles said that apart from his commitment to win the war against illegal drugs, Duterte also wants the entire nation to start a clean slate by fostering tolerance and understanding and work together in forging a progressive and peaceful nation.

“President Duterte clearly spelled out his forget-the-hate campaign during his inaugural speech and in his first State-of-the-Nation Address. The President believes that the only way for us to achieve peace is for us to forget the hate that we feel towards the people who may have caused us anguish and injury. Justice will come, but we have to forgive first and stop the hate so that we can move forward as a nation and as a people,” Nograles said.