Editorial: Against all abuses-A A +A
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
AS WE draw nearer to the first anniversary of what could (and should) be the most harrowing politically-motivated mass murder in Philippine history, the Ampatuan massacre on November 23, the story about gang rape victim ‘Florence’ somehow makes the situation even worse.
It’s definitely inappropriate to say that the gang rape muddles the picture, but sad to say, yes, it does tend to do that but only, and we repeat -- only, to people who are so focused on punishing the persons, such that there is no more condemnation left for the acts. This is so because of the persistent talks that the crime was committed by those close to political lords of Central Mindanao but not of the Ampatuan clan.
And that is how everything becomes muddled. Prejudices are fanned, hate is planted, and the ones who are just waiting in the wings to show that depravity is not the monopoly of the Ampatuans in the massacre are starting to leer and jeer. It's a sad state of affairs.
It’s a black picture of corrupted power; and this is where we should focus.
It’s should never be just about pinpointing and condemning the persons who murdered the more than 50 journalists, Mangudadatus, lawyers, drivers, and clueless passers-by and those who gang-raped Florence. Not even why there were so many who joined the Mangudadatu convoy on that fateful morning on November 23, 2009. It's should always be about how we should stand up in outrage against how such acts can be committed by those in or close to power while the victims and the innocents cower in fear or wail in helpless rage.
In between, let’s pray for Florence’s full recovery, clamor for justice for Florence, the massacre victims, and all those who became victims of gross abuse of power. And let us work together to end impunity by holding everyone accountable for acts that may not be as unthinkable as the Ampatuan massacre nor the gang-rape of Florence, but still embolden criminals, politicians, and government officials to thwart laws, mores, and morals, like allowing an associate justice to plagiarize without even being reprimanded.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on November 11, 2010.