NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews/21 November) — Now that the remains of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos had finally been interred in and given a hero’s burial, albeit surreptitiously at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, those in the Duterte-Marcos camp are telling the surviving victims, families of fallen or still missing victims of the terror Martial Law regime, and everyone else, to also bury and forget the past and start moving on.
Without anyone telling, the nation has actually moved on.
The PH president has begun flirting with Russia and continued ironically to play pussy with Communist China, the country’s primary supplier of methamphetamine (shabu) and seasoned cooks of the prohibited drugs despite his violent war on drugs;
The drug lords and their network of underlings have continued to ply their nefarious trade without let up throughout the archipelago;
The police, their vigilante associates and allies have continued to summarily execute suspected drug personalities inside police stations, prison cells and stinking shanties and in dark streets and alleys;
The Senate has continued its toothless probe on the wanton escalating extra judicial killings with the long shot aim to stop such impunity through new legislation;
Illegal drugs, drug monies, arms and bladed weapons, as well as prohibited appliances and gadgets continue to change hands at the New Bilibid Prison, notwithstanding that the watch has changed for some time now from Dept. of Justice former secretary de Lima to the incumbent, Sec. V. Aguirre and with no less than the elite Philippine National Police Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) as new guards of the national penitentiary. One wonders who now is the primus drug coddler of the place.
Meanwhile, the always outnumbered always reportedly cornered Abu Sayyaf Group has not been pulverized and in fact has continued to sow terror and fear in southern Philippine islands and nearby sea lanes; and the communists from mainland China have continued to occupy and entrenched themselves within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), defying shamelessly the ruling of the Hague Arbitration Court, an aggression that is openly and virtually tolerated and even apparently welcomed by the PRRD government.
On the other hand, the OFWs continue to slave in foreign lands for their families to survive;
Worker contractualization and the exploitation of labor in the country continues and may last till kingdom comes.
It’s business as usual. Who actually has not moved on?
Apparently, no one else except the surviving victims of Marcos’ reign of terror who have remained to this day prisoners of recurring nightmares of the physical pain, emotional and psychological torture in the hands of conscienceless, blind, rapacious Marcos followers in the police and the military.
Can’t you just leave them alone?
To grieve is to remember one’s devastating loss. It is a natural right that should not be deprived of humans. And no one should stop the Martial Law victims from protesting against and fighting for their liberation within the ambit of law from the injustice they continue to suffer to this day.
Those who want us all to forget and forgive, please stop your demand or solicitation until justice had been served and restitution made to concerned.
While we should all be ready and open to forgiveness, let us, however, never forget. Otherwise the tragedy of history will keep on revisiting us which seems to be in the offing at the very moment.
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa wisely said:
“Forgiving is not forgetting; it’s actually remembering–remembering and not using your right to hit back. It’s a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don’t want to repeat what happened.”
“Forgiving and being reconciled to our enemies or our loved ones are not about pretending that things are other than they are. It is not about patting one another on the back and turning a blind eye to the wrong. True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth. It could even sometimes make things worse. It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing. Superficial reconciliation can bring only superficial healing.”
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan is a retired professor and former chancellor of the Mindanao State University Naawan campus in Misamis Oriental).