An "uneasy" rest
By Katleah Ulrike
Originally made last November 1, 2012 and posted at Allvoices.com, this writeup somehow tackled about the relevance both All Saints and Souls day not just as a day of remembering the dead, but also remembering those who had been unjustly killed, of those who had been forced to disappearance, all in the name of order that rather justifies impunity and aggravates past and present tensions between a resurgent people and a rotten state.
Personally, in making that kind of writeup may say that in remembering those who had killed for their beliefs, that in their graves had their candles lit and given flowers, deep inside they wanted to continue fighting and swore that impunity will end, and to those who had been fallen will given a dignified rest.
Et vous, objets de nobles l'armes,
Braves, morts au feu des cannons,
Avant que la patrie en armes
Ait pu connaître au moins vos noms,
Sous l’humble terre où l’on vous range,
Dormez, martyrs, bataillon indompté !
Dormez en paix, loin de l'Orange,
Sous l’arbre de la Liberté.
These are one of the verses coming from the 1830 version of the "Brabançonne", the Belgian national anthem. Those words reflect its rebellious past wherein its people took arms against a "ruler whom despite its fatherly appeal gave no just laws"; that, somehow reflects the current problem, not in the country the poem coming from, but rather in a different one whose system, beneath the cloak of righteousness lies repressive instances.
That, all despite efforts to curb atrocities laid by the military over the people, especially those who oppose government policies and advocating radical changes, it rather didn't stop the tension as countless cases from past to present had left unsolved or rather say, never been solved due to those who tried to circumvent the law for their benefit such as 114 cases of extra-judicial killings (EJK), 12 enforced disappearances, 70 torture victims, 224 victims of illegal arrests and detentions, 8,266 victims of forced eviction/demolition and 29,613 internally displaced persons, under the Aquino presidency according to the Human Rights group Karapatan from July 2010 to September 2012.
These numbers continue to grow as nameless individuals are fast becoming victims due to repressive policies and the like, worse, if people remain apathetic and unheard about social realities such as what Karapatan being stated in its report making those who circumvent laws justify their actions as necessary for their goals such as security.
Quite worrying though, especially in regards to people who rather remain apathetic over a serious matter of growing extrajudicial acts made in the pretext of protecting the state from lawless elements, all despite seeing news reports and reading countless comments from the narrow minded in every social media site condemning the victim rather than the accused for their beliefs, it rather aggravates the present danger in a way chunks of defense budget be used for operations including those of surveying the legal left and continuous mill of black propaganda.
That somehow made this writer felt concerning when will people ever open their eyes and minds, hearts to a reality such as countless, nameless persons imprisoned, disappeared or killed due to their beliefs, making this writer had made to use one of the original verses of the "Brabançonne" and be described these nameless people an "unbroken battalion?"
And you, objects of noble tears,
The brave, who died under cannon fire,
Before the Fatherland, under arms,
Could know at least your names,
Beneath the humble earth where you are laid,
Sleep, martyrs, unbroken battalion!
Sleep in peace, far from Orange,
Beneath the tree of Liberty.
Substituting the house of Orange for the current Aquino administration and its armed troops, of cannon fire for countless arrests and detentions, torture and summary executions, people fighting for liberty with all their lives end martyrs trying to be at peace in a society labeled as "unjust" and "repressing", leaving to the present generation with pleas appealing. But all despite the verses stated, the voices of the innocent and the affected buried beneath the humble earth remains aloud than at peace, haunting the wretched ceaselessly as long as the latter has its hands left bloody and trying to act conscienceless with denial such as Jovito Palparan and his men after the disappearance of Karen Empeno and Sheryn Cadapan, or the soldiers who justified killing Blaan tribespeople in Mindanao for mining companies? Sorry for using Dechet's words, but those words reflect those who brave the blows and the cold and dark cells if not for the graves unearthed after years of sorrow and concern.
Quite lamenting to hear their pleas for justice other than their call for freedom yet fell on deaf ears of apathy. Whether living or dead, countless victims of state repression still tries to invoke, voicing out aloud regardless of threat and intimidation even pain and death to justify the system described as "unjust" within the cloak of "righteousness" the way people from below assailed absolute monarchs who tried to present themselves as enlightened yet trying to keep the antiquated order firm in the midst of growing clamor for changes. Every law had been enacted to counter atrocities so to speak, yet how come despite all these there there are still reports stating about growing numbers in it? Most people would say "too late" to wash their bloodied hands in it? Most people would say "too late" to wash their bloodied hands in midst of growing criticism yet still acting ignorant.
And perhaps, since the first two days of November marks remembering the deceased, with people visit every grave, or stare at the picture of a beloved one with candles lit and prayers invoked, why not shed tears off and instead advancing the interest of the people the way loved ones showed interest in theirs? It is indeed that life is short, yet least that all after seeing how precious life is and making it better for the well being of the rest same as themselves, making hearts at ease in their "eternal" rest-waiting for a signal to awake.