HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! KABAYAN.
We, my 12-year old daughter, her classmate and mother, and I, went on a one-week Thanksgving educational trip to St. Louis, Missouri. We passed by Washington, D.C. and on to Charlottesville, Virginia, where I got a chance to visit Allen (my high school classmate) and his family, and a tour of MONTICELLO, the estate and family home of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence (which I thought had something to do with and contributed to the People's Power Revolution), when I read:
"That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
We then proceeded through West Virginia to Kentucky, where we visited the Birthplace and Boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln, whose idea of government, I thought, is what the Philippines badly needs:
"a government of the people, by the people and for the people".
One hour drive away was MAMMOTH CAVE, the biggest cave in the world.
This is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 367 miles explored.
Early guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place," but its vast chambers and complex labyrinths have earned its name—Mammoth.
I have visited this and Lincoln's boyhood home, one score and seven years ago, in November, 1983. At that time, it had just surpassed the "previously known longest" cave in the URAL mountains in Russia as the longest cave in the world at 175 miles.
It is now 367 miles explored and counting.
We then proceeded, through Indiana, and Illinois (the home state of President Barack Obama), and then to a tour of the St. LOUIS ARCH AND MUSEUM, and the JEFFERSON EXPEDITION NATIONAL MONUMENT in Missouri, which was the site of the start of the LEWIS and CLARK EXPEDITION or Westward Expansion, in 1804-06, ordered by then President Thomas Jefferson, and unfortunately, the start of more horrors for the Native Americans.
This is the circumstance that we were in, when I received the news of the Maguindanao Massacre which I thought, at first, was not that serious; another one of those massacres that happen in the Philippines every now and then (although as serious as they are), I thought.
When we got back home to New York City, and got to read the details of the massacre from emails of my high school classmates, and more reading and research on the internet ( as we do not get enough details from local news), one detail raises some questions, I looked for answers, which makes me ask more questions and so on and so on. What I found out, deduced and concluded was disgusting and appalling:
1. Upon getting the details of the massacre, my deduction of established facts, and conclusion was that:
* the Ampatuans did atrocities before,
* got away with them through "connections",
* thought they had IMPUNITY,
* It is only with this thought, attitude and :state of mind of Impunity. to the point of egomania or megalomania, that they could even think and consider, hatch a plan, and actually execute, what is now the "Maguindanao Massacre".
2. Because of the heinous and barbaric nature of the massacre, the first thing that I thought was the Internatiional Criminal Court. I am aware of their work bacause over the years, I followed developments of the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990's.
The world saw the impunity to which the Cambodian genocide in the 70's during the Pol Pot Regime ended. The world civil community decided to do something about it.
Civil society organizations around the world lobbied for Ad Hoc International Criminal Tribunals to prosecute the perpetrators of the atrocities that happened in both...