The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Eighteen months since respected botanist Leonard Co and two companions died in a hail of gunfire in Kananga, Leyte, his widow is seeking public support to press the Department of Justice to release the results of its investigation into the incident.
Although the panel of prosecutors assigned to the case finished its preliminary investigation of the case in July 2011, the DOJ has yet to release its resolution.
“I am thus appealing to all of you, to all those who loved, known and honored Leonard for his contributions in the field of science, botany and taxonomy, and to all those who believe that justice must be served: Please help us urge the DOJ to release the resolution at the soonest time possible,” Co’s widow, Glenda, said in a statement released on Wednesday.
Co, 56, and his companions Sofronio Cortes and Julius Borromeo were killed on November 15, 2010 in what the military claimed was the crossfire when soldiers clashed with communist rebels.
However, a survivor claimed there was no encounter and that the soldiers had fired on their party.
Subsequent investigations by law enforcement agencies and nongovernmental organizations also cast doubt on the military’s claims.
“We learn the hard lesson that the clamor for justice is not easy to achieve, day by day,” Glenda Co said. “We continue to believe, however, that the DOJ resolution may pave the way in the arduous search for truth and justice and most importantly, in making the perpetrators accountable.”
“We cannot bear to just wait while we know that after Leonard was killed, more become victims of extrajudicial killings,” she added.
She asked people to “write the Department of Justice, and address your letters to Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano and Secretary Leila M. De Lima. Let us flood them with e-mails, phone calls and even SMS to remind them that we await the release of the resolution, and that we keep vigil on Leonard’s case.”
Glenda Co hoped that the birthday wish of their daughter, Linnaea Marie, who turned 10 on May 7, would be granted.
“Sana mabigyan na ng hustisya ang pagpatay ng mga sundalo sa tatay ko (I wish for justice for my father’s death at the hands of soldiers),” was Linnaae Marie’s wish.