Some sixty years way back in my high school days, my father undertook the construction of our new and quite large family house in our hometown. We needed a larger house for our fairly big family. My father always impressed on us that it is an obligation for everyone in the family to extend a helping hand. And we siblings—eight of us—being in classes as students and are therefore unavailable work hands on weekdays, must be up and about in the construction site on Saturdays or whenever there were no classes.
In one unforgettable instance, my father and I overheard this brief exchange between two carpenters Noy Paolo ang Noy Inasyo, as follows –
NOY PAOLO 1: Bay, nganong maoy imong gikuhaag basi ang tubig kanal sa imong pagsukod sa gitas-on sa poste? Dinha unta sa sementadong kalsada kay maoy saktong level sa yuta. [Bay, why do you start from the canal water level in measuring the height of the post. Better start from the cemented street pavement, because it is the correct ground level!]
NOY INASYO: Ang tubig man maoy sakto, kay ang tubig mangita man gyud nag iyang level. [The water level is the correct reference, because water always seeks its own level.]
My father who has not forgotten his learnings from his College Physics couldn’t help but intervened: Sakto kaayo si Inasyo. Ang kinaiya sa tubig, kay likido man ug modahili gyud aron mangitag iyang kaugalingong level. Ug mao ni ang kasaligan nga basihan sa pagka nebelawo sa usa ka istruktura. [Inasyo is absolutely correct. Because water is fluid and it flows, it always seek sits own level. And this is the most reliable reference to gauge the levelness of a structure.]
The nature of a thing always shows itself, no matter what conditions in the surroundings suffer. I am reminded too of an old Cebuano folk syllogism—“Wakwak si Tatay mo, waklwak si Nanay mo. Nan, kay anak ka man, wakwak mong tanan!”
Indeed, disguises and pretensions can never betray one’s fundamental nature or character. And this holds true for the officers and men of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Their moral orientation, or their ideological formation, will always manifest in the end, no matter their deceptive tactics and disguises. In short, the truth will always prevail.
Look. What has become of the trumped-up cases they charged against the activists, including a religious sister and a Church pastor? They have been dismissed! Because the facts always manifest in their glaring revelation that the military establishment were just presenting falsities and baseless concoctions.
And even the ridiculous cases against the Lumad farmers – thirteen of them from White Culaman in Kitaotao, Bukidnon —have been thrown to the garbage! And the shamelessness of the military has infected some of the CHR personnel conducting supposed inquiry into the rampant human rights violations against the Lumads.
Nancy Catamco—but of course, she is a special case! She is a marvelous distortionist of facts and truths who believes her own lies. One wonders if she has even the thinnest veneer of shame and honor in the cavern of her conscience. We have known of merchants of deceit close to the people who hold the ladles (luwag). Could she be one of the excellent chefs in the kitchen of power? All the other CHR “inquirers” are spineless stooges of the agency that is an ironic misnomer of its mandate and function.
But the worst, — or the most evil practitioners of deceit and other diabolical acts and tactics are the officers and soldiers of the Armed forces of the Philippines. They know no bounds in cooking up situations, deceptions, lies, in their task of defending the plunderers and thieves of the nation’s wealth. They arrogate unto themselves the power to dispense with the people’s human prerogatives in this world. They can be rightly considered “kampon ni Satanas” in the exercise of their sworn duties to uphold the right of foreign imperialists and their local partners in raping the treasures of the nation at the expense of precious human lives and sacred human rights of entire tribal communities.
Their nauseous deceptions and noxious disguises, however, cannot exist for very long. Like water that seeks its own level, their Satanic ways always seek levels of open display—their true fascistic nature will always find expression in massacres, tortures, rapes, and other devilries. No amount of pretensions and hypocrisies can hide their true character. Their own words and actuations will certainly betray them. And no sensible person and citizen of any country will every condone what they have done and are doing to the Lumads of Mindanao.
History will drag them to where they are bound to be thrown—to the dustbin of dishonor and shame.