On Beng's 32nd Birthday

November 21, 2011


Today it’s not about the pain anymore.

It’s about justice.

Everyone already knows how my sister was brutally murdered a few months after she turned 22, on the same exact birthday of #$&^%$(*&%. Oh no, that is not a typo (more on #CyberCrimeLaw?)

Today, it’s no longer about the pain that these bastards have subjected us for the longest time. It’s about celebrating the life Beng lived in 22 years that they could never, not in any chance, experience in 3000 lifetimes.

No, it’s not about me crying at how much it could have been better, brighter, happier, stronger, if she were still here. Like the song goes, “think of Beng, laugh don’t cry. I know, she wants it that way…” This day it’s about the lessons we learned, and continue to learn, from her.

Today I won’t steal away the scene because Beng wasn’t only a sister, she was above all, a WOMAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER. Yes, it’s ironic that the defender died defenseless but she has advanced Human Rights in so many ways unthinkable to the former president. She knows more about respecting each others’ human rights than the former president and her cohorts knew ways to rake in money and cheat.

Beng was a student writer overflowing with ideals, emotions, principles; just as how GMA is overflowing with crimes committed against the People of the Philippines.

Today it’s not about how GMA’s goons proved that Beng is mortal by putting 2 bullets in her face. Today it’s about feeling and seeing her immortality through other people seeking justice for her and all the others the GMA regime has extra-judicially killed, forcibly disappeared, imprisoned, displaced,or tortured.

To say that she was deprived of justice is an understatement. The regional trial court progressed like a snail (well, what else is new?), conducting hearings once a year, and if the date happens to fall on a holiday? “I’ll see you in court, next year”…Justice delayed is justice denied. But Justice not served whereas the United Nations Human Rights Committee found the Philippine Government under (Patay Gutom, Makapal Ako) guilty of Beng’s death, is nothing short of robbing her of Justice yet again.

Ironic that on her birthday, Beng and 3 others were massacred on what could have been a very peaceful noon in Arakan – yes, that same place where Rev. Fausto Tentorio, the Italain priest who happened to be a witness in Beng’s case, was shot inside a Catholic church compound last month. And the weekend before Beng’s could have been 32nd birthday, GMA’s warrant of arrest is served.

Oh, and Madam, this is only the beginning. For you to die with your braces on is too easy. Think about the lives you ruined. One by one, their faces, though you haven’t seen them in your wildest dreams, will flash before your eyes from your goons’ perspective. You will hear the loud wailing, the helpless appeal for mercy of the wives and children who lost their fathers. Nothing but farmers. You will feel the anguish of parents and spouses of activists who never returned anymore. Wonder which barracks your nitwit goons took them this time.

You will suffer a deep kind of agony. One that you will bear for the rest of your damned life that not even your father’s name can take you out of, nor your sucker generals can help you bear.

Today, justice begins. And I’m sure as hell, that with our collective strength, family and friends of the victims of your human rights violations, you will never get the chance to stand up again anymore; braces or not.

Not everyday is a happy day for you, Madam.

 Today we celebrate Beng’s birthday. She passed away almost    a decade ago. But I marvel at how people still love, respect and miss her. You? You would have already been long dead and people would still hate the sound of your name…
Today we celebrate Beng’s birthday. That feisty kolehiyala. My lawyer and confidante. Sister to everyone. Defender of human rights. Student writer and mass leader. Could have been a mother now.

Happy Birthday, Ate. I love you. I always have.

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