Last week, while people were enjoying their three-day long weekend, I was with these particular people who had different agendum from the rest of us. It was a long weekend for them too because these people, instead of staying in their homes with their families or hang out in malls, were gathered for a sole reason that has become their continued struggle for over decades of years: Stop Political Killings and Persecution! Defend Civil Liberties!
I was very fortunate because by Saturday evening when I visited their camp here in UP which was located in front of the Quezon Hall (where the Oblation is found), I got to chat with these very people I considered heroes. Actually, they were from different sectors who may have various societal frameworks but were gathered for a sole cause – that by the first of May, they can rally freely to Mendiola not to disrupt the public, rather to inform the people of the bitter reality that our country is now facing.
These radical thinkers came from various places all over Metro Manila. Sectors from the youth, the academe, and manual labor were there. By early Friday, representatives from these various groups were already in the camp to perform a symbolical activity to call the attention of the government and the nation as well: they fasted for three days, which lasted until Sunday morning. They have to gather their strengths by Sunday so that they can resist brutal physical attacks they will encounter (for sure) the following day, May 1. And yes, the fasting was victorious because the media got took of it and was relayed to the public. The government of course, as how they would want to project in the media, responded so calmly; but the satirical truth of this was that as early as a week before May 1, the subordinates of GMA already held meetings each day to counter whatever plans our poor Filipinos had in mind. They were so afraid that these poor fellows might shake the public and could possibly bring trouble to these elites who selfishly and inconsiderately want power over anything else.
Let me contradict my wronged beliefs I had before – because I had uncertainties in all these rallies. I have realized the importance of these gatherings such as rallies, educational discussions and socio-political awareness symposiums. They are very essential in letting us know, in letting the public know what the present situation our country is now in. These activities, as I have realized have opened the minds of the people to think and act critically and responsively to the signs and times of today. Now, I am one with these people who claim for civil liberties, and it is through these means, these activities that they can present the reality, the sad truth to the rest of the Filipino people. Now before you react, hold on for a minute, and better stop saying that you are tired of all these rallies that have been going on in our country right now because even these people who have devoted their whole lives who are very willing to unite, to fight for their rights, to rally in the streets are in fact not tired in their continued battle over the years since Martial Law to Gloria’s PP1017, to all socio-political oppressions. They are in this continued struggle because in the end, though very idealistic, they still can win this battle, we can this battle: the battle for the defense of our civil liberties.