From ABS-CBN News in the Philippines:
‘Slain UP botanist a rare species’
By Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News
Posted at 11/19/2010 3:48 PM | Updated as of 11/19/2010 3:48 PM
Family and friends doubt the military’s version of events that left Co and 2 others dead.
Co and 2 others were killed while 2 more escaped the firefight. The team was in the area doing field work in Kananga, Leyte for the Energy Development Corportaion (EDC).
But Co’s friends believe the incident may have been a case of mistaken identity, especially since botanists typically carry pole cutters and umbrellas when doing field work, which may have been mistaken for firearms.
Scientists, environmentalists, and health workers on Friday continued to press for justice for Co.
Students, teachers, and other members of the academe wore red armbands in a press conference to condemn the killing of Co.
Dr. Leni Jara lauded Co for his contributions in the field of medicine, having catalogued many medicinal plants that are invaluable to rural health workers.
“Matatawag natin siyang rare species”, says Jara. “Malawak ang kanyang kaalaman at marami siyang natulungan”.
This sentiment was echoed by Dr. Perry Ong, director of the Institute of Biology in UP Diliman. He says many members of the academe recognize how special Co was, and that a dedicated scientist like him “only comes once in a hundred years.”
Meanwhile, others say that the death of Co will make it harder for other scientists to do their job in the field.
Anthony Arbias of the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society (PNPCS), an organization that Co founded, shares that some of their colleagues now fear for their safety when they are conducting field work.
“Kung mangyayari ito sa isang superstar botanist, paano pa kaya yung iba?” he asks.
It seems that the Armed Forces of the Philippines have learned from their United States allies the maxim: “Shoot first, think later” …
Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior arrived today in General Santos City in Mindanao, Southern Philippines to kick off the Philippine leg of her “Turn the Tide” tour of Southeast Asia. The ship, which brings with her a vision of a green and peaceful future, has been traveling the region since September and is now on its final tour stop in the Philippines: here.
A US judge approved on Thursday the distribution of $7.5 million (£4.3m) to settle a lawsuit filed by thousands of victims of torture, execution and abduction under the US-backed regime of the late former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos: here.