Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Apathy Breeds Impunity

Despite the disappearances, the killings and assault on civil liberties, I'm surprised at the lack of public outcry. Coming from a dictatorship, the Filipinos should have learned their lesson. It seems that we have failed to teach ourselves to maintain the defense of democracy. Just like in the Martial Law years, people have succumbed to complacency and self-preservation.

What I see and often hear today is that people are just watching out only for themselves. I have lived through the injustices of the Marcos era and believe me, we should never forget. Its seems that we martial law babies have failed to pass on to the next generation the lessons we learned in those dark year. While we slept soundly, people are dying left and right. Others simply disappear never to be seen again.

Oh yes, we as parents can always claim that we've been doing our duties to family and country. But are these the right things? A perfect example is how some easily dismiss the right to life and due process of left-leaning individuals. Never mind if they are fighting for their rights and the rights of others. Some would even laud the perpetrators since they are considered enemies of the state and better off dead.

I wouldn't look to far, Ive been branded and called a communist just because I believe that we are all equal. We have lost genuine concern for others and our sense of nationalism. We fall prey to propaganda and the spin this administration bombard us with. We have grown apathetic and thus the culture of impunity pervades in the country.

The wasted lives of those who believed in equality, most of them, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers are easily accepted by the people as collateral damage. Some fell victim to the policy of shoot/abduct first and ask questions later. We have heard of 11 yr. old Grecil who was shot and killed at pointblank, mistaken to be a rebel by a patrolling military unit. The outcry was short-lived and we went back to our own lives.

How many more should die or disappear into the night before we all realize that we need to collectively pursue genuine democracy? Do we have to wait for our loved ones or even ourselves to fall prey to these injustices before we wake up and do something? This is the reality we live in, its now a way of life. We live in a supposed to be civilized society and yet we behave like beasts caring only for ourselves. We have forgotteh that we belong to a community.

Hope and pray that none of your loved ones become a victim. Maybe that would be the only way for us to finally see beyond the walls we've built around us. We can never be sure what would happen next. There is no assurance that we will be eternally safe from the tentacles of this oppressive regime. Look around and see what's happening around us. Stop and put yourselves in the shoes of those families these victims have left behind. And then ask yourselves what you've done for your neighbor.

Apathy breeds impunity. Lest you want to lose your liberty again, I'd start caring "again" before its too late. Just imagine of what we can do if we wake up all at the same time from our apathetic slumber.