I did not know Father Cecilio Lucero personally. All I remember was that we lighted candles for him, expressed our condemnation through a mass and stage rally outside the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Church or Redemptorist Church in Tacloban City, and prayed for jsutice to be catered immediately.
They killed a man of cloth. Sure their consciences will prompt them to render justice, I thought.
But justice is not an abracadabra or a hocus-pocus thing. The candles of hope we lighted started to snuff out as years have elapsed.
i could recount that period when the usual systematic process of police investigation came about. Of course they did not give value to the angle of this as another military killing. Feeling dismayed, yes. I was reminded that often than not, perpetrators of such heinous crimes don’t find themselves penalized. impunity is now a culture of its own; of which even clergymen are not exempt.
I remember hearing playful hypocrisy blatant red-baiting from a military man months after the priest’s grim killing. Those activists are godless! Those militants are atheists, they want no religion! he must be kidding, I told myself. his claims, though, places a mark in my forehead.
But do they hear themselves?
Who are without God? the likes of Father Lucero who vocally cried for justice or them who have gone infamous for perpetuating injustices?
Who has no God? The peasants and barrio men Father Lucero had defended as they demanded for their rightful lands or those fascist components whose maneuvers are to send chill to them, and eventually kill?
Who are godless? You be the judge, for I need not dramatize how heartless those who denied justice for Fr. Lucero and the rest of the victims of fascist killings. i need not say that devoid of any doubt, Fr. Lucero is just another victim of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) of the Arroyo regime. I need not state why a priest who was a staunch human rights defender and protector of militarized victims fell prey to the scheme. I need not tell, of course.
Father Cecilio Lucero was killed on September 6, 2009. He is the 26th victims of extrajudicial killings from the church sector. he was known for his staunch human rights advocacy as member of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR) Northern Samar and Head of the Human Rights Desk of Catarman Diocese’s Social Action Center. he was very vocal in defending the rights of the oppressed especially those in the highly militarized areas in Northern Samar province, which earned him enmity of forces responsible for the killing.