DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 May) — Having read the tortures that Jerome Succor Aba went through during his detention in the home security defense unit in USA, and the nightmares that snatch in his dreams up to this time, I cannot help but feel the pain and anguish at what Jerome suffered from.
I read his narration of the ordeal he went through and learned his background. So he is a social activist, working for the rights of his brothers and sisters Moros and his sympathies to the Lumads, whom he described as a community of people, struggling to fight for their rights to their ancestral lands and opposing the economic plunder done in their areas, in particular, and in Mindanao, in general. So it has now become a practice by those in power to detain, torture, and worst, kill those who fight for their rights!
What boggles my mind are some thoughts/questions: how can our government allow its citizen to be subjected to such a dehumanizing harrowing experience? Was there any attempt to denounce the US arbitrary arrest and torture of Jerome, and recourse to get justice for Jerome? Is not the injustice done to Jerome an injustice to us all — silence or inaction on our part is a soft shameful surrender of our dignity as a people?
The case of Jerome affects me in two levels. first, as a Filipino advocating for human rights, and justice and still uphold that we as a people have fought hard to be free thus earning dignity and respectability! As a compatriot, i empathize with Jerome!
Second level, I am affected as a mother. Jerome must have been loved, nurtured and protected well by his mother and his people that he has turned to be a nationalist, selfless young fellow. My heart bleeds for the pains inflicted on the young brave soul of Jerome. All loving and selfless mothers then must be containing the grief within for the sufferings of their children…
Containing the grief within can only be carried on for a while…the silence will have its end and the grief will have to find a path for peace…and peace that can be meaningful when it is anchored on justice!
As a postscript in thecommercialized celebration of Mothers’ day. the greatest tribute to Inang Bayan…love of country, protection of her people and her sovereignty! (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Malou Tiangco is a Davao City-based social worker and an artist for peace).