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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Why Echegaray did not confess guilt until his death? (Reflections on how cheap lives are these days)



 Why Echegaray did not confess guilt until his death?
(Reflections on how cheap lives are these days)

Anyone can win any argument here whether he espouses Echegary's innocence or his guilt. But to put things in a proper perspective, under our criminal justice system, Echegaray was found guilty and thus, he was sentenced to death. But many firsthand accounts from his priest, lawyer and others who came to his side before his state-sanctioned death claim that he did not confess guilt. Since the supposed natural (and thus, expected) reaction of someone facing death is to say the truth, some believed in his innocence. But he did not confess guilt.

I believe that he was guilty, and I always have in mind that his victim is condemned with the ill-effects of the gruesome crime of rape committed to her by her stepfather. But then, he did not confess guilt.

If Echegaray confessed guilt, our society could have had let go of a sigh showing some relief that we did the right thing: Kill him. But then, he did not confess guilt.

I firmly believe that he did not confess guilt because it could be that in the brain of an alcoholic who had a memory lapse, or in the brain of a drug addict whose brain is short-circuited or in the shrinking brain of any criminal who has a substance abuse history, he committed nothing. So we did the right thing to do to Echegaray: Kill him. That ended his story.

But he did not confess guilt.

And that is his gift to our society, to our humanity, to our civilization. We will always reflect on why he did not confess guilt and not rest on the fact that he deserved to die and that justice is served to the victim.

With the present state-sanctioned deaths vis-a-vis the drug campaign espoused by our President, may the latter and his executive arms (that includes me) always keep in mind why Echegaray did not confess guilt. 

And that killing Echegaray ended his story but not ours as a society.


Photo Credit:
Captioned as Seven men on the gallows, sketch by unknown artist, Bolognese school c. 1630
Taken From http://www.executedtoday.com/?s=leo+frank


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mourning, Marshal Law and Marcos in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani


Mourning is a personal closure, since it brings humans to a full circle of birth and death, of comings and goings. When I saw the headline that a sister whose brother was missing during the Martial law era said that "Buti pa si Marcos may bangkay," (Lucky is Marcos, he has a cadaver) I just can't shake it off from my thoughts.

I lost my father this year and I am still finding myself some comfort in knowing that he rested from the physical pains. I know he died and I know we ushered him to a resting place. These thoughts actually comfort me. Thus, putting myself in that sister's shoe, I just can't imagine myself mourning without a closure. Perhaps, she will always mourn until she can no longer mourn.

There are many personal stories of loss and unnecessary deaths during the Marshal Law that we just cannot close our eyes and say that the past is past and we should move on as a nation. No, we cannot just do that because there was no positive action from the family of the late Ferdinand Marcos regarding their intention to ask for forgiveness for the human rights violations and there is no moral (if legal is not feasible) restitution of the wealth we lost during the regime. The nation cannot forgive if there is no asking for it. In fact, the insistence of FM being buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani is not a national sentiment but only that of the current President (add the Ilocanos there) obviously because Marcos Jr was an ally when he ran for the presidency.

The injuries made during the Marshal law is a historical fact and the fact that one's family was not a direct recipient of human rights violation at that time, it does not mean that Marshal law is a good thing. The Presidential Decrees of FM are still being used today to enforce harmony and I am sure he had lots of good intention for an orderly society but whatever good things marshal law gave us is eclipsed by FM's abuse of power, directly or through his instrumentalities. As a nation, we surely do not want to go through that again. NEVER.

The late president Ferdinand Marcos may be physically buried in the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani but we will always tell and retell the stories of the human rights abuses that happened during Marshal law and the many infamies he caused. Go ahead, bury him there. But we will never stop telling the story so we will never forget.

To close, while the Marcos family wanted a heroes' burial for FM, there are many Filipinos who are still looking for a body to bury and put to rest. I just can't imagine the pain they feel from the mere presumption and forced acceptance of the conclusion of the death of their loved ones and the emotional abuses made to them from time to time by false news of unearthed bodies of their relatives, some fortune tellers telling them where to find their loved ones' body for a fee, some emotional blackmailers, and now, some news of forced "moving on" from Marshal law.  

*Photo credit: MARIANNE BERMUDEZ, Philippine Daily Inquirer