Last Tuesday, Dennis Aranas, another key suspect-turned-witness in the infamous shooting of journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega in Palawan was found dead while in prison. He was the second witness to die which the Ortega family fears could hinder the progress of the investigation on Gerry Ortega’s murder two years ago.
CEGP Baguio-Benguet sees this incident as part of the gradual killing of justice in the country where those who forward legitimate calls for change in the face of an increasingly dismal social condition are being persecuted by the powers-that-be. The killing of a vital witness no doubt puts a major blockage in resolving the murder case of Dr. Gerry Ortega who was killed during the height of the controversial Malampaya Gas Project in Palawan. In his radio show in the province, Ortega used to fearlessly brought up the anomaly of funds’ misuse in the said project.
Tied with the duty of journalists is the exposure of all the facts and offering of sharp views concerning the concrete realities that each piece of fact implies. Ortega’s murder can be easily linked to his scathing remarks on what he deemed was an inappropriate transaction regarding the Malampaya Gas Project. Now, more than two years after his murder, justice keeps on being delayed and further tactics are being conducted to maintain the case under gray light.
This latest death of Dennis Aranas is the latest blow to the already frail justice system in the country. The obvious call now is for all of us to come together and inject some life to the sick order of justice in the country by vigorously and vehemently demanding for it from those whose interests are currently protected by this widespread injustice.