10
Aug
06

Suffer the Children

A few weeks ago, reports of disappearances and abductions of students from different universities hugged the news. Sherly Cadapan and Karen Empeño along with Merino, a farmer were forcibly taken by an armed group. Asher and Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion Empeño, parents of Sherlyn and Karen, have asked the Supreme Court to compel the military to release their daughters. A writ of habeas corpus has been filed but despite the court’s intervention, the military continuous to disregard the families’ pleadings.

We now ask, why? Is the military now above civilian rule that they can disregard the rule of law? Gen. Palparan has even insinuated that the missing students had gone up the mountains to join the NPA. He even has the temerity to offer such callous remarks inspite of the families’ sufferings. Despite witness accounts and KARAPATAN’s findings, the military acts with impunity and directs its violence and might on poor, hapless and unarmed civilians. Extrajudicial killings of militants continue while GMA lauds her favorite general. The irony of it all, we are signatory to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

These are kids at the prime of their lives. Kids whose beliefs and ideals are pure. Why waste their lives in the name of anti-communist feelings of an ordinary general? These kids could be the future leaders of our country. This purging of the progressive ranks will not benefit our nation but incite the people to result to an armed struggle to free itself of a tyrant. It is the government’s duty to hear their voices and protect their lives and ideals. All they did was express their misgivings against the present dispensation which continues to be deaf to society’s woes.

Many promising youths were killed during the last dictatorship and I bear witness to some of these. It is happening again after we reclaimed democracy. So many future leaders silenced for fighting for their rights. Why do these poor defenseless youth have to suffer the brunt of the government’s all-out-war against the insurgents. Aspiring for social change does not make one a communist. With additional funds to work with, the military has stepped up its campaign with wanton disregard for basic human rights.

Our future suffers the most as these young, idealistic youths are silenced for eternity. Their only “fault”, to assure themselves of a better society. A society where every man is assured of his rights, a society with equal recognition and representation. Their wishes were not for themselves but for the next generation who will inherit the fruits of their sacrifices. Politicians refer to the youth as the future of the country, but what kind future do we foresee now, now that their voices are silenced forever? In this country, the youth always suffers the most. Torn away from parents out of desperation and taken away from this world for their ideals.

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August 2006
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