I thought I was okay until the unlawful arrest of student protesters in Cebu brought back the pain and trauma that was just lying low while on lockdown. Suddenly, I was racked with a deep cry that struggled to surface out as I tried to calm my shaken nerves.
We assail this brazen affront against the very core of our humanity, the freedom of the press, and our right to free expression. It is an attempt to maim us, to silence our protestations, our very right to seek redress from an administration that does not respect its own.
The message is clear: if one is critical of the administration whose shallow interpretation of democratic rights clearly show in their knee-jerk response to what they consider as “seditious”, one easily gets the ax.
We are hearing the ordinary daily wage earners and their difficulty in meeting the basic need for food on the table. And endlessly, we pray for sobriety, because there is no guarantee that people will still listen to controlling agencies if the government persist of playing deaf and dumb. I don’t have the answer, but God knows. And people know their limits, too.
The strongly-worded statement started with a biblical call, thus: “Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, I will protect them from those who malign them.” (Psalms 12:5)
One thing that no amount of intimidation can break is the unbending spirit of brotherhood among some 500 aggrieved evacuees at the sanctuary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines who have long suffered being displaced from their ancestral lands.
It’s people’s unity galvanized by a common aspiration for freedom, peace and justice that would really determine our destiny in this world.
Such was the hope of families and friends of the 58 massacred victims when they visited the crime scene three months after the carnage. It was one of the most excruciating moments for everyone, even among the curious who went along with over 300 individuals who trooped to see for themselves and feel the dread.
Gratitude was written all over the faces of the Missionaries of the Assumption (m.a.) Sisters who celebrated three decades of their existence and commitment to serve God’s poor in all their mission areas.
The road leading home on June 9, 2019, was the longest one and the most difficult of all to understand. I am still trying to tell myself that it was over, that the nightmare I experienced that fateful day was nothing but just that: a bad dream.