The killing of the outstanding botanist, Leonard Co and his two companions underscores once more the persistence of the culture of impunity in our body politic which like a cancerous growth has refused to go, instead claiming more and more innocent lives in a predominantly Christian country which prides itself for the respect of life and general observance of human rights. Unfortunately, the realities on the ground belie this stance as empty posturing.
Taking place barely a week before the first anniversary of the gruesome Ampatuan massacre, all this show how life has been cheapened in this country. But when we take a deeper look into who are responsible for these crimes, we cannot help but be struck by the reality that those behind these crimes are usually people in power and can thus get literally away with murder.
It is this almost total immunity from any accountability and prosecution that emboldens the perpetrators to go on their killing spree. Their crimes are usually undertaken under some nice sounding name or slogan, like “maintaining peace and order”, “promoting the rule of law” and other seemingly harmless policy or program, but eventually lays to waste precious lives of our countrymen.
There seems to be some kind of a tacit understanding between the security forces in this country and the real powers that be, that the former can get away with almost any crime against persons provided they leave the politicians alone in their thieving ways, their crimes against property.
It is some kind of “scratch my back” and “I’ll scratch yours” proposition that fertilizes the ground for graft and corruption on one hand and murder on the other hand. It is when the two combine under a single command as in the Ampatuan case that a heady mix of almost absolute power that ordinary mortals start to act like gods with the power of life and death over ordinary citizens of this country.
Sometimes, one faction of the powers that be will go through the motion of prosecuting members of the other faction. But all this are just for show especially when it involves key figures of either faction. Thus, we can expect little will come out from the so-called Truth Commission organized by PNoy to go after the GMA faction who are temporarily out of Malacanang, but not entirely out of power. So, the culture of impunity continues.
The same mutual accommodation of interests extend to key figures of the security apparatuses of the State. For instance, there is no real prosecution of the Palparans of the previous administration, so extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations continue. This is the dynamic of our socio-political order that claimed the lives of Leonard Co and his companions. Impunity persists because the big-time institutional players, the so-called “big fishes” are rarely held accountable for their crimes, especially when the victims are ordinary folks.
The Department of Justice might have organized a Task Force Leonard Co to go deeper into the botanist’s death but once the AFP hierarchy decides to stonewall, there is really very little that civilians can do against the armed forces of this country when they decide to protect one of their own which is most likely to happen in this case if we are to go by the earlier pronouncements of the military.
Like a cancerous growth, the culture of impunity have again allowed the military to claim some innocent lives in the forests of Leyte. # nordis.net