Impunity

Today’s journal entry is about the culture of impunity in our country. Last Friday, I woke up to some distressing news from a fellow member of our pen group. His sister, a healthcare worker who had established health centers in Mindanao among other work for the poor in the area, was arrested. The circumstances of her arrest is something that sounds so familiar because it has happened to many people before. People who serve poor communities, labor leaders, etc etc etc all have very similar stories–violent arrests, dubious search warrants, being denied access by family and counsel, just a lot of blatant human rights violations. I cannot imagine having a sibling forcibly taken under such suspicious circumstances and to not know where she’s taken. I have never in my life lost contact with my brothers. I have never been separated from them in this way. I can only imagine the anguish the family is going through right now.

It saddens me that we again find ourselves in this situation, when there’s so much in our history that should have warned us of the red flags and should have pointed us to a better path. It’s time for us to realize that the violation of one person’s human rights puts all of our rights in danger. It’s time to ask important questions and to care about holding our government accountable. It’s time to reject leaders who do nothing but weaken our democracy and insist it’s “for our own good”. Someday the violence will visit us in our own homes, and by then it will be too late to care.