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Sunday, August 18, 2019
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Ombion: Justice not propaganda

PERSPECTIVE

JUSTICE not propaganda is what the victims’ kin demand. By justice, they mean no less than the culprits, accomplices and the brains must be brought to court and if found guilty be prosecuted and imprisoned.

Yet, going three weeks now, the government has not responded to the cries of the kin and friends of 14 poor peasants in Canlaon, Manjuyod and Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental who were brutally killed like pigs by the combined police and military forces.

No thorough and fair investigation have been done to date by the concerned Negros Oriental provincial officials, the Commission on Human Rights, nor by independent bodies like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

The perpetrators have not submitted their notarized operations reports; instead their top and local police and military officials have carried out war of sustained and widespread propaganda to justify their killings, discredit the victims as local communist terrorists, their kin and those who question them as communist supporters.

Days after the massacre of agrarian reform beneficiaries in Sagay two months ago, the victims, their kin and those who demanded justice, got instead propaganda beating from some local officials, police and military officers, defending the culprits not the victims.

I find it chilling to see the same pattern towards the 80 other victims of massacres and killings in Sagay, Escalante, Toboso, Calatrava, Himamaylan since 2016.

The victims were vilified as communists. Their kin and friends were demonized as supporters. The communists were also tagged as the killers. The testimonies of survivors and witnesses were dismissed as fake reports. The courts and government officials play deaf and blind to the brutalities by their colleagues.

The same can be said of most victims of the government’s anti-drug war.

No wonder, most if not all cases of extra-judicial killings and other human rights violations in Negros, have remain unsolved.

So many arrests and killings but no prosecution and conviction.

I have the feeling that this administration lacks a deep sense of life and justice, so killings have become its convenient way to get even with its critics, dissenters and those it tagged as power-grabbers.

Killings have become its means and end.

Sense of life is an important facet of our justice system. One who lacks that sense tends to make lots of shortcuts that degrade the value of life and the functionality of society.

If this is indeed the undeclared policy of this administration, then let’s not expect to have more prosecution and conviction, because all they will be doing is kill, justify, vilify and kill more.

Again, I hope I’m wrong.

But I’d like to see more positive indicators that the current trends are still reversible. The most important are less killings more prosecution, less propaganda more dialogues, less red tagging more openness, more objective and fair information less fake news.

For feedback email to ombion.ph@outlook.com


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