At the time of her arrest, Reina Mae was pregnant. She gave birth while imprisoned to an underweight infant, baby River Emmanuelle, who would later be separated from her mother and denied of her mother’s breast milk which could have kept her healthy and prevented her untimely demise according to health experts.
As the year comes to a close, the regime seems to be meeting its quota. While we are still under a pandemic and while provinces are still reeling from the effects of the super typhoons, state forces are focusing its attention on arresting activists.
There’s a higher plane where seeking for accountability can take us to, such as contemplating about socio-political systems which allow such adverse projects to perpetuate, about who really benefits from them. This saves us from the simplistic, ignorant, and cliché narrative of citizen-blaming.
A fellow Mindanaoan writer once said Davao Today (DT) is one of the few online news that he can rely on in terms of giving a bird’s eye view of the whole gamut of what is news in Davao particularly.
She spoke for us despite the risks of associating with people tagged as terrorists. It is time to show her our appreciation by helping her fight for her rights, which are also ours.
As a final step towards fascism, the Implementing Rules and Regulation of the Anti-Terror Law has been released in October. Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade, Jr. was quick to red-tag celebrities, duly-elected officers, and critics of the administration.
If DepEd were to make sense, now is the “perfect time” for honesty—from their end. The agency has to admit that the absence of teacher supervision makes learners primarily responsible for their own learning progress.
Reina Mae and baby River’s story shows us otherwise. For people with no big names and for activists, human rights are never served on a silver platter. These should always be asserted against the establishment and must be defended for recognition, respect, and protection.
Teachers are demanded to grade objectively. Students are commanded to deliver. And while this seems to be the most efficient way to identify who “passes” and who “fails”, it disregards the human aspect of education. In fact, it is this obsession with efficiency and production that reveals how misplaced the priority of our education system is.
Every year in October, anesthesiologists celebrate or commemorate Anesthesia Week. I will write this time about the anesthesiologist as victims and victors. My column got its inspiration from Roger Water’s (or Pink Floyd’s) song “Comfortably Numb.”