Sunday, September 20, 2009

The killing of a priest

THE government or its instrumentalities may not have any hand in the killing Fr. Celilio Lucero of late, but common sentiments ride on the perception that it is most likely so. In fact, some progressive journalists fed on the report that no less than the commander-in-chief herself, on her recent visit to Northern Samar, allegedly tagged the priest as a communist—which is very unlikely—thereby giving a seemingly tacit order for eventualities.

At this point in time, any finger pointing would be coming from merely speculative sources until a credible investigation takes place—if such a thing is miraculously ever possible at all. It could be a vendetta of some sorts by a local leader who had been reportedly getting a beating in some of the priest’s “homilies”. Or it could have been motivated by something else that maybe as good as anybody’s guess.

Reports, however, say that the conduct of the execution was precise and professional which again fuel the speculation that only the likes of a professional operative as the military—that, of course, does not have the monopoly of the professional or otherwise—could have launched such an ambush of a subject who had been routinely guarded by the police until his death because of an imminent threat to his life.

As if tactically or habitually so, the military has always denied any involvement in the spate of killings and disappearances that count almost a thousand now since the assumption of the incumbent leadership—contrary to the findings of U.N. Rapporteur Prof. Philip Alston that formally tagged military operatives as party to many of these deplorable incidents.

Be that as it may, but when the present dispensation declared war against the communist rebels some years back and released considerable budget for the program, it was hinged on the firm belief that the military is the only solution to this overstaying problem that has been dragging along for decades now together with this same overstaying military solution.

By simple arithmetic, decades of failure in dealing with this insurgency problem, not to mention the lessons of political history, would have already given enough conclusions that would substantiate the pursuit of other options. Any alternative solution would now be more doable with communism becoming anachronistic and unpopular, indeed a burden even to the proletariat.

Neither war nor murder will solve any insurgency. Insurgency being deep-seated and ideologically bred, is better waged in the minds and hearts of people—not through the raw violence of a barrel of a gun that only escalates into dialectical conflicts, and, therefore, fuelling all the more the very cause for which the rebellion has been born in the first place.

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