Polaris

Tula ni Leonard Co

Kapag nakalatag ang lambong ng dilim

Saan mang lupalop ang iyong marating

Sa dakong hilaga’y mangyaring hanapin

Isang munting talang nagluluningning.

Maningning na talang parola’t gabay

Sa laot, sa lupa, ng manlalakbay

Tigib mang masalimuot ang tahaking daan

Hindi naliligaw ang sumusubaybay.

Saan mang sulok din na aking marating

Di ko iwawalay ang hilagang bituin

Habang nananalig na ika’y gayundin

Sa talang itong nag-ugnay sa atin.

Hanggang ang tala’y may kutitap pang angkin

Na sinusubaybayan ng ating paningin

Ano man ang layo ng agwat sa atin

Malayo ka ma’y malapit pa rin

Habang naghahari ang gabing madilim

Ay may liwanag ang di-mabilang na bituin

Ang angaw na tala’y kung bayang alipin

Ang talang hilaga’y ang mapagpalayang kilusan natin!

Botanist and plant taxonomist Leonard Co, forester Sofronio Cortez and farmer Julius Borromeo, were working on a biodiversity project that included the geothermal plant operations of the Lopez-owned Energy Development Corporation when they were killed in an incident involving members of the 19th Infantry Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on November 15, 2010 in Kananga, Leyte. The military men claimed Co and his companions died in a cross fire between them and the New People’s Army, a claim challenged by the Philippine National Police and  Commission on Human Rights investigations and the independent fact-finding mission of Agham (Science and Technology for the People). Read the tribute written for him.

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