Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ninoy and “Slow Death”

Today I reflect on Ninoy not in a vacuum or in the romantic realm of myth and hagiography. I reflect on Ninoy in the context of current Philippine realities. Today’s news tell us nothing new. Expectedly, Malacanang is euphoric about the quashing of the second Impeachment complaint. The official Malacanang statement is once again an appeal to “reconciliation” and to “move on” leaving behind politicking and bickering, instead to work on so-called policy.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye in a pitch to leave the impeachment behind appeals, “Let us move on with life and our work. To be fixated in the events of the past will guarantee us a future of disruption, of interrupted growth and overlooked opportunities.” (cf. Philippine Daily Inquirer, “Arroyo in high heavens over impeachment junking,” August 17, 2006)

William Esposo writing about Ninoy’s legacy, entitled his article, “High Ground: Why Ninoy Aquino would weep if he were alive today.” Indeed on a higher plane of moral values, what goes on in our country would make any morally upright and principled person weep. However, even on the most fundamental level of taste and decency, official statements from the likes of Ignacio Bunye can make your stomach turn and curdle, working up into a puke.

Decent and moral persons will then have a terrible experience of holding back tears and puke over a situation that will take a while to change. “Let us move on with life and our work,” has been the stock statement since the quashing of the first impeachment complaint. Anyone whether part of the organized opposition or just plain citizen is painted as either stumbling block to progress or a senseless trouble maker.

Criticism is unproductive and should be given up in the name of progress. But who defines, decides and directs progress in the country? Definitely not the quiet and uncritical but the government runs by those whose definitions, decisions and directions are in their own favor. Keep the people quiet and dumb. Keep them clueless and scared. Keep them suspicious of and uncomfortable with noise. Keep them passive and dream-less. In other words take away their spirit, their passion for meaning and life.

Something more basic than tears and puke is blood. The color of blood is crimson. Red and warm is blood. Red wine offered up at Mass becomes the blood of Jesus, martyr of truth, justice and love. The Eucharist is not only about bread. The Eucharist is also about wine. Celebrations are about eating and drinking. The Eucharist is celebration and more, it is about life. Thus, the Eucharist is about the life of Jesus, his body and blood offered up and continually shared to give us life.

Lest we forget how our fundamental Catholic faith revolves around the body and blood of Jesus, let us pause and reflect. Jesus did shed sweat and tears. More so, he shed blood. Listening to Malacanang telling us to “move on with life and our work…” is like forgetting the blood shed by Jesus on the cross. Listening to Malacanang today appealing for reconciliation is to forget the blood shed not only by Ninoy but by all our heroes and martyrs.

This is Malacanang’s sinister scheme, to kill passion, to deaden the mind, to pacify the will and ultimately, to kill the spirit. There is nothing new in the generous distribution of lard from hefty pork barrels to loyal minions in Congress, whose souls have grown accustomed to float in grease and grime. But beware when envelopes are slipped into the pockets of Bishops. Thus Malacanang hopes to reduce the Church into an unthinking, feeling-less and spiritless lackey alienated from the very essence of Christianity, the sacrifice of Jesus.

Ninoy was in solitary confinement for seven years and seven months. He went into exile for three years. These ten years of imprisonment and exile were an important lesson for Ninoy. He realized that “he could have opted to seek political asylum in America, but felt it his duty, as it is the duty of every Filipino, to suffer with his people in time of crisis.” (cf. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Editorial:Anti-Ninoy, August 21, 2006)

Gloria has abolished the death penalty belatedly implemented on seven Filipinos by lethal injection. Today, let us realize and be mortally aware of how slowly and surely a similar injection has been invading the veins of our very soul as a people. No we are not quite dead physically as more than 704 journalists and activists are. But slowly, we are losing our minds, hearts and souls. Slowly, we are dying. The lethal injection that put away Leo and the other six condemned Filipinos had three parts. The first to be injected is a tranquilizer or relaxant that paralyzes the condemned man. The next is a terrible drug that stops the lungs and finally, the last drug completes the murder by stopping the heart.

The lethal injection of the Filipino Nation under the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo administration has begun. Many are already “relaxed” and quite paralyzed. Many have stopped breathing and quite a number have lost their hearts. Last August 21, 2006, we remembered Ninoy’s sacrifice. Twenty three years ago, our people came back to life. This is the power of sacrifice, the power of blood!!!

Fr. Roberto P. Reyes
August 22, 2006
Queenship of Mary


Post a Comment

<< Home