Sacrificial lambs?-A A +A
Tropical Storm Igme
Sunday, October 28, 2012
MANILA -- Monday is the last day of the four-day celebration of Eid Al-Adha, a special occasion in Islam in remembrance of prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) utmost faith to Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala (God) that was put to the test when he was commanded to sacrifice his first born son, Ishmael (in the Christian Bible it was the other son, Isaac), as written in the Holy Qur’an.
Muslims around the world are supposed to dress in their most neat and beautiful clothes. This is also the time to give gifts, especially during Qurban, where livestock like goat, cow or lamb, are slaughtered and at least one-third of the meat will be given to the less fortunate.
Eid’l Adha means “Feast of Sacrifice” and in “sacrifice,” it means a selfless act of a human person and a virtue that one must let go what is precious and valuable, be it possessions, time, emotions, and in the case of Ibrahim (peace be upon him), that could be a person or a love one.
We were taught that even persons can also be sacrificed, which was implied not just in the Holy Scriptures but also in folkloric tales when we heard about cult worshippers sacrificing virgin women to please the gods.
But in modern times, one does not need any cult nor humans for a sacrificial rite. Sacrifices can now be in a form of one’s dignity, name, or probably the whole humanity of an individual, especially when the occult is in politics.
Last week, a raiding team composed of the Philippine Army, police and newly formed environmental civic watchdog “Sulog (water rapids)” stormed the hinterland villages of Cagayan de Oro City near Iponan River and arrested two Chinese nationals who worked in a floating barge-like quarry, which has long been believed to be extracting gold illegally other than just excavating sand and gravel, as described in their special permits to operate.
The city also cooperated, through the Lumbia police and the City Environment Office. Kudos to that, and I meant it with no sarcasm.
Prior to the raid, the regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for Northern Mindanao has ordered for the cancellation of all environmental compliance certificates (ECC) and permits issued to different sand and gravel concessionaires in this city, after a dialogue with Sulog earlier this month.
And even days before the operations took place, the city mayor, in this paper’s October 23 report, warned mining operators to strictly comply with the cease-and-desist order he issued last October 18, against the stoppage of all mining operations in the city, or else, if these mining operators will not heed his order, they will face stiffer penalties.
But in an online news provider, it was said that DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau have already put stickers on the barges not just six but 15 nonetheless, ordering the miners to stop their operations based on environmental laws and an August 3 executive order issued by the mayor. Please take note of the date.
The raid was able to apprehend Zhong Hengyuan, 43, and He Jiancheng, 42, both residents of the People’s Republic of China. They said they were working for a Chinese-Filipino.
Is it possible that Hengyuan and Jiancheng have become “sacrificial lambs” in this rite of charades? Will there be other raids to follow? This is just a theory, considering some information coming from the two sides of the coin. But everyone can do their own math on this.
If these Chinese nationals will be charged for violating environmental laws, subjected to the local courts and was proven guilty, then there can be hope in the campaign against illegal mining and environmental protection. If what happened is the opposite, and worse, these suspects return to their homeland with ease, again, just do a simple math.
Our condolences and prayers to the family of Ms. Angela Roque-Noot, in her early 30s, a colleague in the Department of Technology Communication Management of Mindanao University of Science and Technology, who died last October 26 due to health reasons.
She will be buried in her hometown Maramag, Bukidnon. She is now reunited with our Almighty Creator, the Most Merciful and Most Gracious.
(Nef Luczon is a freelance journalist and a part-time communications instructor. He is also a film and art enthusiast. Send comments to email@example.com)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 29, 2012.