It is a cheap thrill to say I told you so, when the Maguindanao massacre happened, 57 dead — 30 of them journalists, more than half the victims women, 2 lawyers and several others who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But I like cheap thrills. I told you so!
It was a carnage waiting to happen — well, it’s been happening, only on a less shocking scale (if you would consider state violence acceptable), but with consistent regularity — and it did happen at the logical time, election season being the most conducive period there is.
Extra-judicial killings have been committed under the regime of fake president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo more than a thousand times since 2001, punctuated by enforced disappearances and countless other forms of human rights violations. So what else is new?
It is the same murderer regime. It is the same climate of impunity. It is the same trigger-happy institution. It is the same magical -realist forsaken land. It is the same oppressed people. It is the same US-directed anti-terrorism doctrine.
There are only new victims now. Yet everyone is a potential victim, if all the injustices in all forms against the people still don’t make everyone so.
So you think only the activists are fair game in this shooting hobby of the bloodthirsty corrupt regime? So you think the anti-terrorism doctrine made operational through Oplan Bantay Laya concerns only Muslims and communists maligned as terrorists? So you think you should only speak out, cry for justice and act decisively when it directly victimizes you?
Think again. For when that time comes, you may not be able to act and there shall be no cry for justice just because there might be nobody left then to speak up for you.
Everything has a price, even silence. Are you willing to pay?
*photos from speaking one’s mind
Here’s a beautiful piece from Kiwi Illafonte
Banana Leaf Blankets
(for the victims of the maguindanao massacre,
in case i ever forget)
i am the prodigal child of a people’s conscience
kidnapped from our grandparents’ homes in broad daylight
lost beneath stacks of conquistador textbooks
blinded by the fashion of hunger and agony
to strip malls and value meals
and the approximately two hours a day i spend
checking people’s status updates
must be the life
that we’ve all dreamed about.
if she knew her road would end here
she might have packed her bags differently
there is no dignity
in having your remains plucked
out of a shallow ditch
no cosmetics advanced enough to
mask mutilated flesh
blood and tissue
tendons and bone fragments
the expression on
what was left
of her face
only telling part of the story
there is no comfort
that can come from banana leaf blankets
as if to cover up the carnage
with a magnifying glass
to crop and zoom her image onto our computer screens
and burn the audacity of that morning
into the back of our throats.
my fingers won’t allow me to finish reading this story
they drag the cursor to the nearest link
anything to escape this reality
funny animal videos on youtube
an ex-lover’s profile pics
and i’m taken to a whole other place
and the philippines couldn’t be further away
if she knew that i would end there
then i am certain
that she would cry with an ocean’s lament
agitate me with the sound of waves crashing
and i would have no choice but to answer
with a thundering heart