Burying the sharp hatchet



The funeral was never spontaneous or rushed. This was definitely planned from day one (even before the looming SC decision). I hate myself for my ever-prying eyes. Those single design umbrellas, flight path of the choppers, deployment of 2,000 policemen, security details, decoration of the caisson, choice of coffin, handling of the body, invitations to those present, leak to media, placement and deployment of cameras, family wardrobe, coordination with AFP for correct necro details of the ceremony, etc. These things cannot be done overnight. Pardon me but i will not discard the idea that an event management expert was even hired and part of those meetings. Forgive me for my biased speculative thoughts.

“Malalim na sugat, binunggo, lalong dumugo.”

I disagree with the label “like a thief in the night.” It’s more like “robbery in broad daylight.”

“Ang pagpapatawad ay sagot lamang sa nagsisisi at humihingi ng kapatawaran. Ang pagsupil sa kaisipan ay hindi maaaring lupigin ng kahit anong batas kaninuman at kailanman.” (Forgiveness is only granted to those who are repentant and those who are asking for it. No law can suppress or defeat the rights of an individual to think freely ever.)

One can bury a body but never the bitter memory of a dark chapter of our history.

To those saying that LNMB is just another cemetery and wonder why everybody is making a big fuss about it – based on that logic, why then would the Marcoses insist for FM to be buried there and not in “just another cemetery” like Manila Memorial Park or in his hometown Batac?

I can only think of one reason for the haste and the surprise burial. If announced beforehand, it would give opportunities for oppositors to plan for mammoth rallies or even barricade the cemetery to refuse entry to LNMB. PNP agreed to avoid a security nightmare and confrontational scenarios that can trigger violence. That is what the sneaky and snakey decision avoided.

* * *

No one can “move on” especially when pushed.

The way it is going, one can see that nothing was stolen. Young and old acted to express that the memory is intact and protected.

Someone is afflicted with AlzheIMEE disease. Hope it doesn’t spread.

* * *

Changing times indeed. These days, when one deplores a crime or immorality committed, it is labeled as gender oppression or gender ridicule. Some even ask the question “who is not a sinner” as if it is all right because it is human nature or that everybody is doing it anyway. Some even term “condemnation” as “bullying” or “harassment.” Appreciating sound moral values now becomes unwarranted “smear campaign” and “politically motivated” spins. Makes us all look back and ask “what happened to all of us?”

* * *

After the admission, I don’t know now what to make of this lady Senator with her recent effort to get sympathy from the church against those presumed to be “tarnishing her image.” And she chose to “confess” in a TV interview rather than a priest in the confessional.

* * *

I went on a photoshoot around the Republic of Diliman campus this week. I was saddened seeing the famous work of the great sculptor Ildefonso Marcelo entitled “Captivity” situated near the entrance of the administration building. No one seemed to notice the weeds gathering around this magnificent creation. For me it is a reflection of how we value the works of art of yesteryears even by the most prestigious source of knowledge in the whole country. While the gardeners see to it that the grass around the campus are perfectly trimmed, they seem oblivious of the sorry state of these stones carved by our gifted exponents of art.

* * *

We may not need emergency power to solve Metro Manila traffic. We probably need emergency common sense.

* * *

My martial law experience touched my life in an unforgettable way. I was working as a mediaman in the “Philippines Largest Network” on the eve of the day it was declared. Two truckloads of Metrocom soldiers in full battle gear went inside the compound to secure the premises. We were forcibly ejected from the area and told to go home. We felt we were God’s lesser creations looking at their fierce eyes brandishing those long automatic weapons. We were told to return the next day to get our personal things from our drawers. I felt the awesome powers that they exhibited and noticed their numbers tripled to permanently guard every corner of the buildings inside and out. Scared at a very young age of 21, I already felt that tingling sensation of dissent to the man responsible in ordering such oppressive state declaration. I witnessed soldiers cutting long-haired pedestrians in most intersections with those scornful smiles. Exiting the only gate of Bohol Avenue then, I saw the jukebox king, the late singer Eddie Peregrina removing the tint of his Celeste car with just a razor blade. I was ordered to do the same but was able to convince the soldiers to do it at home reasoning that my residence is just somewhere near West Triangle. All television screens went blank on that fateful day until we saw the man (which we used to idolize) declare “Proclamation 1081.” Properties of oligarch-opponents were seized, curfew hours imposed from 10pm until daybreak, suspects against the government were “invited” to Camp Crame for questioning, others jailed, others made to trim the lawn. And many alleged “activists” just “disappeared.” This account was just the tip of the iceberg of the darkest chapter in our history books we prefer to call the “Never Again” compilation. Afterwards, I learned that my experience was nothing compared to what the others suffered.

I will continue to reminisce my experience in my next column after the much-needed daily dosage of extra strength barako coffee. See you.

* * *

Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.


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  1. Agree with you sentiments that this was pre-planned, decades in the making. Just waiting for the right opportunity, one of the cronies in the Palace.

    There has been no justice for those that were tortured, raped and murdered so how can they expect reconciliation and for people to move on. There is no peace for some and this will remain the case until the ones that committed all these atrocities are brought to book- whether dead or alive as well as all ill-gotten gains returned to the people.

    That’s only part 1 of this act, next chapter is the the return to the Palace for the dictator’s son whilst step public are being misdirected on the so-called ward on drugs.

    Where is the ward on nepotism, greed, corruption, parasitic family dynasties, poverty, disease etc, the war on drugs is just one part of the wider issues afflicting the country.

    Better sanitation, sewage systems, schools, hospitals, efficient road and rail infrastructure, flood defences and storm/hurricane preparedness, housing are badly needed, what is is being done about this?

    The media needs to highlight all of these things, which some journalists are doing but unfortunately others only serve as orifices that are used by their masters to lie to the masses!

  2. I have to disagree with the concept that a person who repents, should be forgiven.
    Forgiveness should only be applied in interpersonal relationships, and between a person and his/her god. It must never be applied to instances wherein society, in part or in whole is “injured” by activites of members of that society.
    There is no country in the history of mankind that moved forward by forgiving and forgetting social and criminal injustice. Indiscriminate forgiveness result in moral corruption leading to moral bankruptcy, which is what every Filipino complains about nowadays.
    To all who profess christianity remember the following FACT according to the bible: Jesus lost his temper, overturned the tables of the money changers in front of the temple of Jerusalem, and for that he was arrested, put on trial, convicted, and executed. The bible does not mention bribery, or other corruption at his trial. The Jews convinced Herrod to apply the rule of law. Jesus was not above the rule of law, no matter how unfair, and cruel it was.
    Today, all Filipinos can do is dream that the rule of law be applied to those who have been corrupted by the power wrought by money. Sweet dreams!

  3. Mr. Reyes;
    why for all these years you did not file any case in the Philippine courts and there was no verdict from any Philippine court showing that Marcos is indeed guilty beyond reasonable doubt of human rights abuse. All your are telling are only allegations which needs to be substantiated in court. It appears that you are the complainant, prosecutor and judge to your advantage to convict by publicity a president who do many good things to the Philippines.

  4. Sir, I beg to disagree to your statement on forgiveness. May I offer a deeper perspective on forgiveness? True forgiveness is not given only to those who ask for it. Forgiveness, especially, for a practicing Christian, is an abiding attitude of the heart. If the unconditional love of Christ is alive or allowed to live in one’s heart, then, the person is always ready to forgive even if the offending party is unrepentant or not asking for any forgiveness at all. The cause and effect of such forgiveness is inner freedom and deep peace for the person concerned. All forgiveness is divine meaning only by the grace of God can a human being be able to forgive. At the level of the person, forgiveness could be too difficult to do if not at all impossible. In this respect, forgiveness is an unconditioned grace freely given and freely received.