Osama Bin Laden, the presumed mastermind behind the horrifying 9/11 attack nearly a decade ago was killed last Monday, causing a great stir all over the world. Most especially to the Americans, Bin Laden’s death finally laid justice to the thousands which have beenkilled in the ruthless 9/11 attack. All over the world, his death is considered as a prized triumph against terrorism.
In the Philippines, the government alerted their armed forces to prepare for a possible retaliation from Al Qaeda’s associate groups in the country.
The Guild welcomes this event as an extinguishing of a burden in the security and human rights of the people. However, specifically in the country, the Guild is standing firm that we should not be overwhelmed by Bin Laden’s death, touting it as a big blow against terrorism. In our country, terrorism has a deceptive face. It is the terrorism sustained by those who are supposed to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens – the state.
Since the term of Gloria Arroyo and up to now in Noynoy Aquino’s regime, the government has never flinched in violating human rights and pulverizing its identified critics. This is the terrorism that all of us must be warier of. The more publicized cases of the Morong 43 which have been detained illegally for several months and Leonard Co, a botanist who was shot dead last year are only two of the many human rights violations perpetrated by the government. Often, the people arrested or killed are purported to be members of the New People’s Army. Like last March, Rodel Estrellado, farmer and a member of Bayan-Muna Partylist Sorsogon Chapter was abducted in the town’s market before being killed. In Mindoro, Mangyan communities have recently experienced intimidation from the military. Amidst threats of large-scale miners and dam builders, armed military men were in sight during the Mangyan Day last April 15. Here in our region, the disappearance of James Balao, member of the Cordillera People’s Alliance who actively fought for the rights and welfare of indigenous peoples, has remained unsolved after two and a half years.
So will terrorism eventually die down after Bin Laden’s death? Here in the country, the answer is certainly no. Terrorism here is not committed by supposedly lawless elements that wield guns and harass civilians. Mostly, terrorism is perpetrated by the state itself, which is eternally protective of their interests and will do its best to stifle progressive elements trying to expose their evils.
COLLEGE EDITOR’S GUILD OF THE PHILIPPINES BAGUIO-BENGUET