Wednesday, March 30, 2005

dangerous country

Ours has become a dangerous country.

There are bombings that kill innocent men, women, and children. There are massacres that wipe out entire families. There are dead people found here and there.

The danger signal is especially high and strong when media practitioners are killed.

Who killed Herson Hinolan of Kalibo, Aklan and Stephen Omaois of Tabuk, Kalinga? Who killed Allan Dizon of Cebu City and Edgar Amoro of Pagadian City? Who killed Arnulfo Villanueva of Naic, Cavite and Romeo Sanchez of Baguio City?

Who killed Marlen Esperat of Sultan Kudarat?

Who killed many other media people in the past? Who will be killed next? And who will be killed thereafter?

Official statements of indignation from the government are not wanting. Many official investigations are made. But there they stop and rest. The murderers have yet to be found and convicted. Meantime, the killings of media practitioners go on and on.

The downright murders of media men and women mean that truth has become deadly in the country. Every time media exposes graft and corruption, this means someone’s life is at stake. Murderers, crooks, thieves hate truth and their standard recourse is to silence its bearers—either temporarily or permanently by murder.

When one needs many numbers to count the media people killed and the counting goes on, the past deadly martial law regime comes to mind. Then and now, truth is definitely unwelcome. In fact, then and now, truth kills!

Is it not enough that our country is corrupt and our people are poor? Is it not enough that our government hates population and wants no babies born? Must our nation be still known as a place where truth is silenced and media people are murdered?

30 March 2005