Monday, November 30, 2009

What Happened in Maguindanao?

I was Iloilo City when the news broke out, in fact I was not aware of it till noontime of November 24, 2009 when my mom informed me.  At first, I thought...oh well, another politically motivated murder and thought no more about it.  I was more concerned about the fact that I could not go home to Bacolod that day...why? Well, because PAG-ASA raised Signal No. 1 over clear and sunny Panay, Negros and Cebu prompting the Philippine Coast Guards to cancel all ferry trips...big sigh, but that's another story. Since I was stranded, I decided to check into a hotel and after settling in, I clicked on the TV and saw it...bodies everywhere...I felt my stomach turn and watched horrified at the brutality of it all. I could not believe that in this century and in this country such barbaric and uncivilized acts were done.  The images will be something I will never forget for as long as I live...the inhumanity of it all. If I felt that way, I can only imagine the great despair, rage and pain that the families of the victims must be feeling. To lose a loved one in this cruel and evil way...something even I would not wish upon my enemies. Why was so much power given to these people? They bring shame to the modern day Datu...These people are nothing more than barbaric warlords and this government should be held accountable for allowing them to maintain a shogun-like existence in Mindanao. To have allowed private armies, a feudalistic and autocratic rule, lawlessness among the powerful is incomprehensible...and irresponsible!

What happened in Maguindanao is a tragic consequence of the failure of this government to govern and be a model to the people. Still, it is an undeniable fact that each of us have contributed to this failure. For decades, we fail to elect leaders that can lead us to greatness.  We fail because, we as a people do not know how to respect ourselves...we say we love our country yet we do not do anything to show this love.  This is so obvious in the way we conduct our daily lives... when we fail to even follow the simplest traffic rule like crossing the street...when we refuse to fall in line even during communion...when we do not give official receipts to customers unless they ask for it...and a million other things! I dream of the day where each and every Filipino have become citizens who live with honesty, integrity, hard work and true compassion for others. That each one of us will have a strong sense of responsibility and be accountable for our individual actions...that we take charge of our future, elect good people who are honest as well, to be our leaders, and that we do things not because we are made to do it or we are paid to do it or because we can get punished...but because IT IS RIGHT and it is for the good of all.

Then and only then can tragedies like what happened in Maguindanao be stopped and ended.