By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
“God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret.” — Ecclesiastes 12:13
The report of the Incident Investigation Review Committee (IIRC) chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima on the botched hostage crisis is now partially disclosed to the public. Names of government and police officials responsible were mentioned. In their report the IIRC recommends the filing of administrative and criminal charges against the officials concerned. But instead of humbly accepting their involvement in the tragedy, each one reacted with various forms of defense mechanisms.
We are not yet sure how the investigation will come to an end and serve the cause of justice for the innocent victims. Hopefully, it would not be like the countless investigations in the past that ended up as mere investigations. September 21 reminds us of the many similar tragedies in the Martial Law years: the killings of innocent victims by the instruments of the state. Investigations were conducted but nothing happened, not even a report. It’s good we have now, at least, a partial IIRC Report.
Correlation of Action and Destiny
People in the Old Testament believed in the correlation of action and destiny. What we are today is the product of our actions yesterday; what we do today determines our future destiny. The reason why today we resolve conflicts by the barrel of the gun is because that is what Martial Law, whether it be declared like the time of Marcos or undeclared like the time of Arroyo, has painfully taught us. The reason why today we do not value human beings more than anything else is because in the past people are just killed like chickens.
There is now a Martial Law culture within us as a people that needs to be transformed, if we would like to restore our value for human life and our sense of justice. And this can be done by making those responsible for crimes against innocent people, today and in the past, answer for what they have done.
No One can Escape
Some people easily kill their fellow human beings because they thought they could do away with it with all the money in their pockets and the power in their hands. Surely, they might be able to escape the courts of the land, but certainly they cannot escape the court of the Divine. The Book of Ecclesiastes says, “God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
This was the experience of King David (cf. 2 Samuel 11). He was considered the greatest king of Israel, but he was not without fault. He took Bathsheba, the beautiful wife of his soldier Uriah. Bathsheba became pregnant. King David tried to cover up his adulterous activity using various strategies, including Uriah’s death in the battlefield. King David thought that no one knew what he did. He never thought that God had seen everything that happened.
And so, God sent Prophet Nathan to confront the King. David painfully realized the sins he committed and he had to suffer the various consequences of his sinful acts. His reign deteriorated, his first son with Bathsheba died, his son Absalom staged a coup and he was killed in the process, one of his daughters was raped by his son with another wife, and his rapist son was also killed by the brother of his raped daughter. All these things happened before King David’s eyes.
Leaders today, as in the past, cannot escape Divine judgment. God requires not only our public life, but also our personal life, not only what we do in the open, but also what we have done in secret. In the fullness of time, God will make sure that what we reap is what we sow. # nordis.net