[Blueboard] Statement of SLB on the Maguindanao Massacre

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Sat Nov 28 16:26:37 PHT 2009



"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, 

                          it can only be attained through understanding."

                                                                        -          R. W. Emerson


We will always remember the tragedy of November 23, 2009, in Maguindanao, as the time when some of us have forgotten what it means to be human. No amount of words can ever describe how many of us actually feel about this utter evil. And the fear that such monstrosity actually exists in our land and by our own people, grips us all the more paralyzing. Condemning this transgression is not enough, for the price of such act is unparalleled. But what is also very infuriating is how those who have the power of the rule of law fell silent amidst such overwhelming chaos. The cries of the victims and their families for justice have seemingly fallen on deaf ears. Now we stand afraid and deeply angry because those who have "sworn to serve and protect" are stained with the very blood of these senseless deaths. 


The tragedy of November 23 serves as a warning to each one of us. It is not enough that the alleged mastermind has already been "invited" for questioning but that men, in uniform as suspected or not, partook in this crime and have done such evil with much malice, hatred and violence. This barbaric act is a symptom of a society whose values system has become so jaded and twisted. It reeks of a system so corrupt, so inept.  It is an indication that evil has corrupted our very beings, who we are. It is an indication that our democratic institutions are not taken seriously and are instead trampled upon and abused. It is a clear sign that we have lost no longer just a national identity, but our very humanity.


The horrors of November 23 points for us to a leadership of greed and incompetence, of non-existent servant leaders but rather opportunists. Today we hear stories of witnesses saying they were merely following orders and this upsets us all the more. Each one of those present during that evil butchery must pay for their crime.  And even though a mastermind may be accused, tried and be brought to justice, one cannot shake off the thought that there were many fingers that pulled the trigger in that entire carnage. It shows a people so blinded by bias and hatred that have transformed them into beasts, into indescribable evil. It shows a people with no sense of right and wrong, of values so corrupted, so compromised. A people without independent thought, not even personal belief or simply the capacity to choose between good and evil. 


Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this senseless tragedy. We will include you always in our prayers. And we will not allow that infamous day to grip us in fear forever. Instead, we will let that memory challenge us to make this tragedy an opportunity for our nation to begin remembering who she can truly be. We will use this evil to draw sometime good, we will rise up as a nation again. But above all, we will remember again that even beyond religion or race, we belong to one humanity. 


We will not allow this darkness to overwhelm us. Rather, we will continue beating the drums of our life witnessing, in memory of those human rights advocates and protectors of free speech who perished with the Mangudadatus and their supporters, until we have awaken our very souls to peace and democracy once more.




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