04 December 2009

My foreign friends pestered me about my take on the massacre in Maguindanao. It's not that I do not want to comment on it but the event happened on a busy week and it really brought the week to a halt, as shocking and as gruesome as any senseless bloody murders can be. I was completely in shook and then I was enraged. I was so angry that I felt like storming out the streets to protest again. . . Several images came to mind. Rido. Warlords. Election Cheating. People die because some people can not give up on their power to rule their land. For centuries, the fanatical thirst to rule the land (the laughable iconic RuleTheWorld vision) has not waned even for a land dying of abuse. Somebody whispered to me the Saria law. It boils down to political dynasty which may be unacceptable to some people but to some cultures are as embedded as their inheritance. It is a birthright. You meddle with it, death becomes a justification. I had a brief encounter with rido (clan wars) when I was in college and we got invited to spend summer vacation in a classmate's ranch. As soon as we stepped off the plane, we were herded to a waiting van and made to lie down while gun-wielding men watched over us. I was so scared that I thought we were being kidnapped. My schoolmates were all clad in designer clothes and toting designer bags! When we got to the sprawling ranch, we found out that somebody rained bullets on the cattle ranch! It was a classic rido. Clan wars erupt and life goes on. We had steaks for a week (the househelpers joked that they even get to bite on some bullets!) We went riding and dancing with armed escorts around in complete denial of danger. Nobody asked questions. We came and went. But I went home angry and told my parents I will not go to that place again. I was angry then as I was angry now. No laws or religion should justify killing. It is as senseless and it must be stopped.

No comments: