Monday, February 2, 2015

The Fallen 44

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the #Fallen44. Hats off to the bravery of the fallen heroes of Mamasapano Clash. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

It frightens me to think that we are now standing at the crossroads of history, that the decisions we forge for and against the lives that were lost at Mamasapano, Maguindanao could either make or break this nation.

We lurch once more towards confusion, lost within the labyrinth of claims and counterclaims. If at this point in our nation's history we again fail to give closure to this issue, then I feel we must brace ourselves for the worst.

 No, I am not being cynical; this is simple facing reality head on. While it may be true that the SAF and the MILF had had armed engagements in the past, none of them should have died that day, not that way, not at the time. 

The peace accord, however flawed it may be at the core of its provisions, should have at least saved their lives from certain death. Cessation of hostilities forms the bedrock of that agreement. Alas, it proved brittle in the hands of the powers-that-be.

Today, blood calls to us from the grassy knolls of Maguindanao--young and brave from both sides. I personally do not expect officials involved in this tragedy to tell the whole truth. It is up to us, the public, to raise questions we think is necessary to arrive at the truth. And we can only do this by tolerating everyone's questions--the intellectual, the wise, the insipid, the cynic, the flippant, even the troll.

 For it is only when every single thought or question is raised that we can challenge ourselves to learn to sift the chaff from the wheat. Aren't we believers in freedom of expression? Then this is the price we pay. And pay it we must by being more tolerant and by wielding this weapon wisely.

Nobody's asking if the Americans gave us the 5-7 million dollars reward money. THAT money should go to the families of the SAF 44! That's 7 million pesos per family.The media should be asking this question. Their children should be assured of good education, at the very least.
Do not you call for war unless you are willing to live in this kind of place, to have to hunt for scraps to eat and to stoop to drink muddy swill, to need to push aside the sorrow of loss that you might see another day when, maybe, you will find both survival and peace.
Don't you call for war unless you are willing to plunge your family, your community and your nation into this kind of hell. And if you do call for war knowing this, then may you be the first to suffer and the last to die.


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