At the DOJ:

Marking the 100th day of the killing of the Kananga 3


At UP Balay Kalinaw:

A lugawan fund-raising dinner of the Justice for Leonardo Co Movement



Feb. 22 and Feb. 24,  2010


■   BONUS TRACKS:  A mural by Philippine Science High School students








CHR: No crossfire in Co's death -



Police say military liable for botanists death -



Raps eyed against soldiers -



Pinoy Weekly : Naglulubid na kuwento ng militar sa kaso nina Leonard Co




Family, friends of Top Botanist Leonardo Co and various organizations belonging to the Justice for Leonard Co Movement held a short program in front of the Department of Justice demanding Justice for the death of the so called Kananga 3. Feb 22 marked the 100 days since the renowned ethno botanist Leonard Co, forester Sofronio Cortez... and guide Julio Borromeo were killed in Leyte.

The Justice for Leonard Co movement also called on Justice Secretary De Lima to replace Assistant Prosecutor Bryan Cacha in the new investigating panel she created. Mr. Cacha was part of the original DOJ-NBI team.




Photos courtesy of Arkibong Bayan, Lisa Ito and PNPCSI as indicated by the filenames




22 February 2011



Dr. Giovanni Tapang



100 Days of Injustice, 100 Days of Cover-Up

Justice for Leonard Co Movement calls for a speedy and impartial reinvestigation



Families, friends of top botanist Leonard Co and various organizations belonging to the Justice for Leonard Co Movement held a short program in front of the Department of Justice along Padre Faura in Manila demanding justice for the death of the so-called Kananga 3. February 22, 2011 marked 100 days since renowned ethno-botanist Leonard Co, forester Sofronio Cortez and guide Julio Borromeo were killed by members of the 19th Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army.


We come here in front of the Department of Justice to call on Secretary Leila de Lima for a speedy and impartial reinvestigation of the case. One hundred days of waiting is too long for justice to be served for the three victims”, said Dr. Giovanni Tapang, convenor of the Justice for Leonard Co movement.


The convenor also noted that in the ongoing hearings of the Commission of Human Rights on the issue, Senior Supt. John Sosito said that a police joint task force concluded that there was probable cause in the deaths and that there was no crossfire during the eventful date. Atty. Sosito, PNP provincial director of Leyte at the time of the incident, said that this was the gist of the report that they submitted to the the PNP Regional office of Region 8. Sosito had since then been reassigned to a PNP instruction and training division related to human rights. He said during the hearings that the team of Leonard Co was probably mistaken for the NPA by the military.


This directly pins the blame for the death of the three on the military. It is now clear that even the PNP joint task force cannot escape the physical evidence and the strong credible testimonies of the survivors. We hope that the ongoing investigations at the DOJ do not end up like its first report where the DOJ NBI team ignored the very same facts and testimonies”, said Dr. Tapang.


The Justice for Leonard Co Movement also called on De Lima to replace Assistant Prosecutor Bryan Cacha in the new investigating panel she created. Mr. Cacha was part of the original DOJ-NBI team clearing the military from the killings.


The groups proceeded after a short program to the hearing at the House of Representatives in the afternoon. They will also be having a fund raising event cum lugawan at the UP Balay Kalinaw on Thursday, February 24, 2011 where updates on the case will also be given. #




Witnesses, Local Police Contradict DOJ-NBI Report, Company Blames Military for Co’s Death

John Quiniones Sosito, former police senior superintendent and acting director of the Leyte Provincial Police Office, said there were no other adversarial forces during the supposed crossfire incident that killed Leonard Co, Sofronio Cortez, and Julius Borromeo.



DOJ replaces prosecutor probing Co murder complaint

| ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, B

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Justice is replacing a government prosecutor tasked to investigate the murder complaint filed by the family of slain ethnobotanist Leonard Co against officers of the Army's 19th Infantry Batallion (IB) whom they alleged are responsible for the killing of Co an


Police say military liable for botanists death -,

Philippine News for Filipinos

MANILA, PhilippinesA police official Monday said that based on his investigation, the military was responsible for the death of noted botanist Leonard Co and two companions in the forests of Kananga, Leyte, in November last year.




Raps eyed against soldiers -

Philippine News for Filipinos

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has formed a panel of prosecutors to look into the possibility of indicting members of state security forces for the deaths of top botanist Leonard Co and two others. In Department Order No. 78, De Lima ordered Assistant State Prosecutors George Yarte Jr., Bryan Cach






Pinoy Weekly | Sidebar: Naglulubid na kuwento ng militar sa kaso nina Leonard Co

Progressive news magazine in the Filipino language with news and analysis, feature and investigative stories, and multimedia content.




CHR: No crossfire in Cos death -,

Philippine News for Filipinos


Ormoc City Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales said there was physical evidence presented during the hearing that botanist Leonard Co and his two companions did not die in a crossfire between government soldiers and communist rebels in Leyte, contrary to the claim of the mil



Family of Slain Botanist Disappointed in Aquino For His Silence on Killing

“He has issued statements on matters like floods, the rising number of carnapping cases, environmental concerns, but he has yet to make a single comment on Leonard’s murder. Leonard has done much for the Philippines, but he was killed by soldiers. Why is President Aquino not saying anything?” said Bobby Austria, Co’s brother in-law.




From the Facebook account of

Bobi Austria  (brother-in-law of Leonardo Co)
Now I Get It.

During the CHR hearings in Tacloban,
Leyte, what caught my attention was why Lt. Col. Tutaan tagging with him a lawyer when he testified. Very unusual in the light of the NBI-DOJ Report absolving his battalion of any wrongdoing.

Why the fear? Is it not a truism that an innocent man is as brave and bold as a lion?
With the criminal complaint filed by Senior Supt. John Sosito with the DOJ pointing to the 19th IB as responsible for the deaths of Leonard Co and companions, Tutaan’s actions make sense. He really need a lawyer.










From the Facebook of
Bobi Austria (brother-in-law of Leonardo Co)
Senior Supt. John Sosito, Bow!

One of the reasons given by the NBI-DOJ Panel Report absolving the military of any wrongdoing is the “presumption of regularity in the performance of their duties”.

Remember this phrase as an important principle in law as it is applicable to all duly constituted authorities.
What Asst. Director Asis of the NBI, Asst. State Prosecutors Solidum and Cacha said in their report have now come to haunt them.

The investigation of the Leyte PNP and its results by Senior Supt. John Sosito was the basis of his filing with the DOJ of a criminal complaint against elements of the 19th IB, PA.

Even if there is still an ongoing cover-up, the new DOJ panel tasked to conduct the preliminary investigation will be hard pressed to ignore the findings and complaint by Sosito. Atty. Sosito’s action has also the “presumption of regularity in the performance of his duty” as the duly constituted law official tasked to investigate the murder of the Kananga 3.

One more thing. Sosito’s report had to be cleared by Crame and it was.

Media have been asking about the “COVER-UP”. There is circumstantial evidence pointing to one but like between Bangit (AFP) and Versoza (PNP), it seems the PNP is not going along with the scenario of the AFP in the cover-up.

Mabuhay po kayo, Atty. John Sosito!





Continuing the Fight for Justice!
A Lugawan, Forum- Fund-Raising Event

UP Balaly Kalinaw, UP Diliman campos
February 24, 2011



Pananalita para sa fundraiser ng Justice for Leonard Co
by Dean Rolando Tolentino

, 25 Pebrero 2011


Mga pamilya ni Leonard Co, mga kasama at kaibigan,

Ang UP Kilos Na ay isang alyansa ng mga progresibong organisasyon at indibidwal na guro, estudyante, kawani at komunidad sa UP Diliman. Sa pagkakataong ito, nais naming maging mulat at mapakilos ang pinakamaraming bilang ng taga-UP Diliman ukol sa kaso ng katarungan para kay Leonard Co, isang guro’t mananaliksik na nag-alay ng kaalaman para sa bayan. At ito ang hindi matatawaran sa buhay ni Leonard Co, isang buhay na maningning sa galing at talino, pagsisinop ng kaalaman na makakapagsilbi sa bayan.

Hindi regular na estudyante at mananaliksik si Leonard Co, pero malinaw ang landas na nahawi niya para sa disiplina ng botany bilang pinakaangat nitong mag-aaral. Noong 2008 lamang siya nagtapos, at imbis na thesis ang isubmite ay libro ng medicinal plants. Pero simula nang pumasok siya sa UP ng 1972, hindi na siya umalis.

Nakakagalit na ang buhay na kanyang inalay para sa bayan ay mapuputol lamang ng isang insidente ng kapabayaan ng pwersang dapat ay nagproprotekta sa bayan. At lalong nakakagalit na ang kanyang kamatayan ay hindi pa nagbibigay ng katarungan para sa buhay na kanyang pinaghirapang makamit para sa UP at sa bayan.

Kaya ang UP Kilos Na ay maninindigan sa isyu na ito. Makikiisa ito sa panawagan ng Justice for Leonard Co at ang iba pa niyang kasamaha (Sofronio Cortez at Julius Borromeo) na nasawi sa insidente. Maglulunsad din ito ng kampanya para ang mga skolar at guro sa iba pang panig ng mundo ay makaisa natin sa kampanyang ito.

Mabibilang si Leonard Co sa mga skolar ng bayan na nag-alay ng buhay dahil sa kanilang landas—landas na mas madalang tahakin—na piniling tupdin. Kasama sa listahang ito sina Wenceslao Vinzon, Abraham Sarmiento Jr., Ninoy Aquino at Antonio Tagamolila, pati na rin ang dalawang nawawalang estudyanteng sina Sherlyn Cadapan at Karen Empeno, at ang pinakabagong martir na sina Ian Dorado at Tanya Domingo ng College of Fine Arts.

Hindi mabuti ang estado sa kanyang mabubuting anak. At ito ang paalaala sa atin ng buhay ni Leonard Co, na ipagtagumpay ang katarungan patuloy na ipinagkakait ng estado, na ang laban na ito para sa katarungan ay laban ng mamamayang patuloy na ipinagdarahop ng malawakang paghihirap at kawalang katarungan.

Gusto kong idagdag ang tinig ng UP Kilos Na sa kolektibong tinig para sa katotohanan at katarungan para kay Leonard Co at sa kanyang mga kasama. Patuloy na maninindigan ang UP Kilos Na para sa panlipunang katarungan at pagkakamit ng tunay na demokrasya.

May sinulat na bagong panatang makabayan ang National Artist para sa Literatura na si Bienvenido Lumbera, na masasabi ring diwa ng pakiisa ng UP Kilos Na para sa katotohanan at katarungan para kay Leonard Co:

Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin/

Ng mamamayang makabayan/

Nagsusuri, nagdarasal at kumikilos/

Upang magtagumpay ang katotohanan./

Iaalay ko ang aking buhay, pangarap, pagsisikap/

Sa malayang Filipinas.

Isang mapagpalayang gabi ng pakikiisa at pakikipagkapit-bisig sa ating lahat. Mahigpit na yakap para sa pamilya ni Leonard Co.







UP President Alfredo Pascual





Dean Rolando Tolentino





Glenda Co, widow of Leonard Co





Lian Seng Co, father of Leoanrd Co




Awit ng Pagasa performed by Wokie and Jun












Creating a mural

by Philippine Science High School students


Here's to share a tribute--

Philippines Science High School students pay tribute to Leonard Co. Headed by their arts teacher Renan Ortiz, in cooperation with the Biology teachers of Pisay, they held their first ever workshop as SAPAK-Pisay.

The mural will be exhibited in Pisay lobby starting Monday, Feb21. It will be brought to Balay Kalinaw for the Forum -Lugawan on Feb 24.