You may or may not have heard of the recent killing of Leonard Co, one of the country’s leading botanists and champions of employing and developing herbal medicine for communities, alongside a farmer guide and a forester colleague by the AFP’s 19th Infantry Batallion in an alleged crossfire with the NPA.
You heard it now. And we fellow people’s scientists and technologists are deeply saddened by this loss, and condemn the fact that the AFP did not follow the rules of war where civilians must first be secured from harm. Another farmer guide who survived the attack recounted that he heard no exchange of gunfire — meaning it came only from the AFP’s ranks.
His family and close colleagues like UP Institute of Biology director Perry Ong doubt that Co was killed in an AFP-NPA crossfire. You can read Agham chairperson Dr. Giovanni Tapang’s remembrance of Ka Leonard here.
A tribute organized by organizations from the health, environment and science & technology sectors will be held at the Imperial Chapel in Funeraria Paz on Friday night, Nov. 19, starting at 7:30pm.
I hope you can come with us. This is the first time I experienced a loss from our ranks of progressive and patriotic scientists and technologists. Sir Co’s face is vaguely familiar, as I have probably come across him in my 6 years in UP Diliman. But despite never knowing him even casually, his death and the legacy he has left has a profound effect on me that I can’t explain.
The legacy must be continued. Let’s continue planting those seeds of change that Leonardo Co dutifully nurtured in his work to the very end.
“Hindi trabaho ng mga intelektwal na magmemorya ng mga walang kuwentang bagay. Tungkulin ng intelektwal na gamitin ang utak para pag-isipan ang mga bagay.”
— Leonard Co (1953-2010)