LAST FRIDAY January 23, 2010, marks the 2nd month since the gruesome massacre in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.
Two months had passed after 58 men and women were ambushed, killed, then buried with a backhoe by men thirsty and hungry for power.
Two months had passed since the wife, sisters, aunt, cousin, and lawyers of gubernatorial candidate Esmael Mangudadatu lost their lives just to file his candidacy.
Two months had passed since 34 journalists who covered the filing of candidacy and instead ended up covered in a pile of mud.
Two months had passed since 5 people who were not part of the 6-van convoy bound for Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao were included in the most ruthless electoral violence in the country.
Two months had passed and yet what have we got?
Well, we got ‘The Most Dangerous Country for Journalists’ award for The Philippines.
We had had rallies, press statements, articles from every concerned person and organization here and abroad denouncing the carnage.
We got the Martial Law experience in Maguindanao that has stirred the administration’s critics and supporters.
Then, we got the masterminds, heads of the Ampatuan clan, charged with rebellion and murder while being detained in a jail where they are free to use cellphones and enjoy luxuries fit for free men.
Then we got the hard-earned lesson of how nepotism has badly bruised our politics. We got a hard-earned lesson that there are power-addicts who would do anything violating the laws of God and man just to get power. We have been made aware of these power-addicts mechanisms, private armies that scare the voting populace.
We got them all but they are not enough. Far from enough.
Because two months had passed and the victims families still grieve over their loss. Two months had passed and we still have many power-addicts in power and private armies at large. Two months had passed and Justice seemed gagged and blindfolded with money.
Two months. Such a short time for us to forget that there can be no peace without justice.
To the victims of the 11/23 massacre,
Requiescant in pace.
PS. I got the photo from the account of a Facebook friend D. Tabaniag.