Dear Mr. President Benigno Aquino Jr.,
This image of a smiling Jesse Robredo, the late Cabinet secretary for local government, is something I found a few minutes ago while searching the World Wide Web for a story peg. His photo takes away the bad taste in the mouth left by people in positions of responsibility who are not transparent with common or public funds entrusted to them and who recruit well-meaning other people to their cause but are unclear about where they will bring their followers. Daang matuwid is a phrase the Aquino administration is identified with.
Mr. President, Justice Leila de Lima, I have a simple question: Why are there political prisoners like Ericson “Eric” Acosta still in our midst, especially in a democracy won hard by people older than Eric, people like this blogger who marched and marched with hundreds of thousands of others, even millions, at the height of the anti-Marcos rallies?
We were the ones who joined your mother’s rallies and long after democracy was restored, helped oust Erap for the same reason of grand thievery. We didn’t vote for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s officially sanctioned candidate, another aristocrat in the person of Gilbert Teodoro, your relative. A number of people like me voted for you–you represented for the cynical in me a fresh wind of change after a series of trapos (apt word for traditional politicians).
Why is speaking out one’s mind the way Eric did and working for the people like what Eric did rewarded with un-bailable imprisonment in Calbayog City, Samar, where he is thrown in a dark, dank cell along with petty criminals like estafadors and swindlers? And with serious charges like carrying firearms when all he had in his backpack was an old laptop?
We who hunger for truth, justice and an equitable way of life no longer want to wait till International Human Rights Day is observed and celebrated on Dec. 10, 2012, with the barest glimmer of hope that Eric Acosta and other political prisoners will be released.
It will be a sad sad day when I risk what’s left of my strength and have to put on my ratty-tatty t-shirt, faded jeans and sneakers to march all over again with the same fervor that my generation did in the ’70s and ’80s as dictator Marcos clung more fiercely to power. Look closely at the late Secretary Robredo’s photo and ask yourself the same questions this blogger asked.
Yours like Anne Frank in continuing to believe in the goodness in everyone’s heart,