Two Killings-A A +A
By DP Limlingan
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
ANOTHER one bites the dust (off the floor) when a foreigner was killed by two unknown suspects. The motive is still unknown as of this time.
Wilhelmus Geertman succumbed to instantaneous death when he fell to his assassins’ bullets. The latter shot him while kneeling, as if begging for mercy.
In legal parlance, the mode of killing Geertman had the element of evident premeditation and treachery since he was shot at the back, while on his knees. He was helpless and had no means to defend himself. The perpetrators of the crime had strong stomachs and manifested professionalism in doing their barbaric act. Despite the consummation of their objective, they flawed in cloaking their identities as their faces were caught via CCTV when they fled.
The crime wasn’t as perfect as it seemed. Police authorities now have in their custody the video footage of the incident. They are now establishing the identifications of the gunmen.
Geertman was a Dutch national on a missionary stint here in the country for quite some years now. He often stayed in Aurora province, particularly in Maria Aurora town where he resided for 47 years since arriving in the Philippines.
He was an advocate of the environment, denounced illegal logging and mining activities in Aurora. He was known to be vocal in his fight against environmental abuses that I surmise was the cause behind his slaying. Many conclude he may have talked too much, that’s why he was silenced through death.
Other environmental advocates and leaders of cause-oriented groups denounced the killing and expressed that the same be considered as a summary execution perpetrated by armed groups.
Roman Polintan of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Gitnang Luzon struck out robbery as the motive behind the killing. He strongly calls for the case to be classified as an extra-judicial killing.
Joseph Canlas of the Alyansa ng mga Magbubukid sa Gitang Luson (AMGL) likewise denounced the killing. He and Polintan are prominent icons of pro-mass activities and are vigilant watchdogs of truth and justice deploring extra-judicial killings in the country.
A couple of days ago, the Municipal Election Officer (EO) in Maria Aurora was also gunned down at his home while strumming his guitar. Romualdo Palispis is also an active pro-environment citizen who was perhaps silenced due to his anti-illegal logging and illegal mining advocacies.
I cannot consider the twin killings of these two environmental advocates as coincidental. The two victims have two things in common and they are now both dead.
Killing them, while silencing them, also silences the issues they voiced out.
Before, the issues were focused on killing trees and the environment. Now, it seems to be shifting to killing people who condemn the killing of trees.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 10, 2012.