By RUDY D. LIPORADA
All throughout the sessions at our Church last Easter Sunday, my mind was preoccupied not only with the mystery of the Christ’s resurrection but also with the forthcoming Cordillera Day celebrating the heroism of Dulag Macliing who was assassinated on April 24, 1980 by Marcos troops because of his leading the opposition against the construction of the Chico River Dam project. The Igorots in Kalinga, Apayao, and Bontoc in the Cordilleras, primarily, resisted the project for the proposed dam’s reservoir will drown 1,400 square-kilometers of highland villages including ancestral homes and burial grounds in this Northern Luzon area.
And these preoccupying ideas just resurrected jumbled ideas that I had to reconfirm again to myself by going back to passages in the Bible.
First, I understand that the first sin of man is disobedience and for that he was punished by God. Second, in Genesis 1:26, it is said that “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Third, Moreover, in In Genesis 2:16, it is written “And the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat….”
Summarizing the above passages, what I understand is that those who disobey will be punished. If you do not take care of natural resources which must be dressed and kept so man can freely eat, you will be disobedient, and you will be punished. If you disobey, you will be punished by God or by those whom He had created in His image and likeness.
Now, for those who engender inequity by being selfish, depriving men of the benefits of nature, God has this to say in Micah 5:15: “I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.” Thus, since we are created in the image and likeness of God, we are bound to “take vengeance in anger and wrath” on those who destroy nature for their own selfish interests and consequently deprive the poor’s access to nature’s benefits.
So, do these passages justify rising against those who plunder the resources of the people for the sake of the interest of the few and the expense of the greater number of God’s image and likeness?
Do these passages justify the Igorots, the Lumads, the majority of the Filipinos to rise against the institutions, individuals, groups who deprive them of nature’s best that they could not eat freely of the creation’s benefits supposedly bestowed for everyone?
After all, God is also vengeful and capable of destruction. Genesis 17 tells the story of God flooding the earth to cleanse the earth from evil men and saving only Noah and his family. Exodus 14 tells of how God separated the Red Sea so the former slave Israelites could cross safely; and drown the former Egyptian masters.
Furthermore, in Matthew 10:34, it says “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Also, in Ephesians 6:12, it is stated, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” For those who engender inequity by being selfish, depriving men of the benefits of nature, God also has this to say in Micah 5:15, “I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.” In summary, Exodus 15:3 states, “The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name.”
Thus, whoa to those who pollute the rivers, who produce the noxious elements that foul the air, who cause erosion due to the denudation of forests – all to the detriment of the poor for the benefit of the few for in Genesis 2:15, it is said, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
Thus, since we are created in the image and likeness of God, we are bound to “take vengeance in anger and wrath” on those who destroy nature for their own selfish interests and consequently deprive the poor’s access to nature’s benefits.
Moreover, in Matthew 22, Jesus Christ emphasized that the greatest commandments are, “Thou shalt love the Lord the God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…second, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Thus, if you are created in the image of likeness of God, the highest expression of loving your neighbor is you having to punish and totally eradicate those who commit the sin of disobedience against nature that make the poor poor.
This, to me, is the spirit of Dulag Macliing. This, to me, is a resurrection of ideas that are forced to be buried away from the minds of the people. # nordis.net