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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chapter 16 - The Pleb


Chapter 16
The Pleb

              Capt. Estrada’s service jeep speed off swiftly after dropping Taklin at PMA façade.
             “Good luck and be strong in spirit” is all what he remembers from his new mentor as the sun set gradually engulfing the remaining shadow of the Captain outside. 
             “You can make it in other words,” he told himself.  That if I would survive when subjected to baptism of fire later.
             “If I would remain unscathed the better; if not, it is immaterial as long I lost myself while joining the race,” he convinced himself.
             “At least, I could determine my limit,” he further qualified.
              “Go for broke if need be,” he recalled an advice to him by Lorna back home.
             “Life is like a forest where you are yet to forage for your food in jungle fall of snakes, bats, wolves and what have you.
              He has already shown his mettle in high school and conquered it; ergo, it’s not farfetched that he could make it.  It’s been his principle that unless life is lived to the fullest, it is only half-lived and does not even merit any form of struggle whatsoever.  Sounding like St. Paul’s  synthesis of ‘living life abundantly’, he feels resolved all the more scaling the walls of Philippine Military Academy. One thing is sure though about himself, he is more than willing to submit himself sacrificing and possibly pushing himself even farther beyond his natural limit.
             The challenge among his classmates – Driarco, Louie, Tess, Josefil and rest of the gang – so intrigued him still vividly imprinted in his mind.  He would recall a movie of similar challenge mutually agreed on bunch of friends – all of them soldiers.  The first union held the following year was successfully attended.  There was almost one hundred percent attendance. But as the years passed by with them engaging  in war zones, the members gradually decreases until only one was left surviving. Nonetheless the fellow still visits occasionally the place only as commitment to the group.  He would offer spiritual bouquet – prayers, attend mass, saying of rosaries on the tomb- to his fallen comrades in arms.  The plot of the movie was so dramatically woven that the more he searches for meaning of the war, the more he was drawn to reality. That like the rest of the gang, he too would die.  It’s just a question of time and maybe, timing.  Maybe, also luck.  But the thought of having harnessed himself all through the years makes him ready to any eventualities death include.  Where would all be heading to  anyway.  Where to go, where to go every door seems closed for me, learned from one plaintive song.  Thus far, Taklin remains undaunted.  It’s where the real action taking place. Who is it who said that life is easy to live once you have conquered the fear of death.
             Sporting a brand new flat top hair cut and shaving of the remaining whiskers and sideburns, he looks clean, dignified and oh yes, handsomer from the reflection of the mirror.  He did not take any chances when the left the Teacher’s Camp yesterday anticipating the quota of hundred push-ups and similar punishments to dirty looking incoming plebs.  True enough, those whose hairs were uncut were given punishment that early –ten thousand meters run in the oval, executing push-ups in between.
             “Your name please,” inquired the military policy surveying suspecting the neophyte in the organization.
             “Taklin de la  Rosa Sir,’ He answered on attention.
             “Batch what?”
             “Of course 1979 Sir.”
             “Which province you’re from?”
             “Romblon. . . “
             “Aha, the Marble county.”
             “You’re right Sir.”
             “Sponsors . . . . “
             “Joselito Ludimer and Capt. Henry Estrada Sir.”
             “Organization?”
             “RSM,” his quick reply without any reservation.
             “Great kid. Good you would be one with us . . .,” The MP acknowledged as he tapped gently the broad shoulder of Taklin.
             “Welcome to the club. Hope you would survive.  You would it seems as your personality is survival personified.  Not all applicants are that fortunate soul you know making  it.  Selection process is just very tough and competitive.” Added the medium built and sinewy military officer as if Taklin is long lost friend coming back to the organization.
             “Okay bro kindly look for  your name and your corresponding  number at the roster of the incoming PMErs upstairs.  You could proceed to your room and in three minutes and you should report back for your initial briefing together with the fortunate freshmen.  Don your athletic outfit please.  We will be touring you all around the campus and most importantly we would start testing your endurance in the field.  Get what I mean?”
             “Sir, yes sir,” Taklin snapped back perfunctorily.  He went all the way in haste to nearby Corregidor looking for his name.  Taklin de la number 37859. Coming back the  formation he complied activities for the day and was now looking for his room.
He got it. A lady usherette leads him to his room. It’s quiet spacious with two table, two  lampshades, two beds and two cabinets.  So it’s for two blebs.
             “Yap,” her response.
             “The comfort room is right  at the left wing of this building.  It’s open twenty four hours a day.  It’s all yours.”
             “Thanks beautiful lady and the library please?”
             “It’s downstairs and you can have as materials you’d like to read to make your day. World. History, literature, geography, sciences and all that.  David Copperfield, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Wuthering Heights, biographical sketches of great American president by Carl Sandburg and too many other works by Charles Dickens, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Emily Bronte, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Shakespeare and all that.  But I hope you should include in your reading lists Filipiniana section . That’s should be the real stuff each pleb should be first busy about reading. “Rizal’s Noli and Fili though not must reading would be good review. Remember how our forefathers used to read  these books secretly – in toilets before or earned the ire of Spanish Friars.  And or of Bonifacio’s 1896 Revolution strategies. Same with Emilio Jacinto. Do you recall the former’s ‘Pag-asa’ written just below his signature which so enamored him to the Katipuneros losing hope.  And or of Emilio Aguinaldo’s verdict in assassinating Bonifacio. He did by the way ordered the murder of Bonifacio and his brother in broad daylight yet.”
             “Seems ours’ is one of the most sophisticated library. . . “
             “Not just in Manila but all throughout Asia. Microfilms and all latest editions of various discipline.  Name it and we’ve got it here.”
             ‘”How about the gym?”
             “We’ve got it in the separate building. Physical exercise you know I part of your training here..”
             “A man with a healthy body also possesses healthy mind.”
            “You’re right. We have it developed it here unless one bribes the medical; doctor to give him clean certification of health despite deteriorating physical condition.”
             “You mean there those who are undesirable tin the prestigious military academy.”
             “Rarely save their intelligence far outweigh their physical deformities.  But these are only exception to the roles.”
             “Thanks indeed.  Unfortunately, I still don’t know your name.’
             “Janette Gonzales.”
             “Working . . . . “
             “As librarian.”
             “No wonder you know all the materials here.”
             Jeanette nodded approvingly.
             “It’s what I finished in College.  Library science. I’ve been thrilled you know by books since I was small.  Whether they are fiction, history, biography, science or literature.  Oh I just dig all of them specially fiction  They are good substitute for history books and in fact more excellent materials. What do you think?”
             “Without Seeing The Dawn by Lamberto Avellana.”
             “Great Filipino classics.”
             “:Maybe at par with Rizal’s Noli and Fili.”
             “Good but there are too many others.  And indeed they tell us better, like inside commentary of a sportscaster during any boxing championship fight or basketball contest, who’s  fooling whom, the oppressors and the oppressed, the politicians  or taxpayers,  victors or victims?”
             “Gee, very bright ideas making my day. You should be in institutions or universities of higher learning as professor.”
             “No I don’t. I would rather stay here than working with students.  I just hate you know teaching and then receiving starvation salary.  And  what if the students under me are morons.”
             “A blessing in this planet of many ignoramuses. . . . “
             “Yes but what would you  get teaching dumb people anyway. They should be made fertilizers.  Know what I mean?”
             “Killing them you mean!”:
             “You’re right but I’m just  joking.  You should be hanged first for your subtlety subjecting ignoramuses to capital punishment.”
             “It’s you who said that.  I didn’t. Now it’s mutual. Why all this talk on dying when there is living, of becoming – the very essence of existence as some existentialist like Sartre would say.”
             “Like taking philosophy I supposed.”
             “Very much.  In fact I take it as major here in  undergrad.”
             “Very nice of your thought I’m wondering how it is related to killing people later in the field,” Janette tested Taklin taking the fellow aback.
             “What do you think? Just asking like you. Yours’ is better than mine I guess.”
             “O come on why do you intend to become a military in premier institution like PMA on the first place.?”
             “Because you’re around, Taklin teased sending Janette’s blood up in her face.”
             “You’re too young.  Study first kid.  You’ve got all the time to engage later and not to me,” the librarian answered.
             “Why stay put in this male dominated academe.  Are openings with attractive salary yet by private agencies or corporations for instance do not tempt you?”
             “Big corporation, yes.  It is enticing.  But not all the time specially when you have something very important thing in your mind.”
             “Like what?”Taklin snapped.
             “Like helping put order in this troubled country through PMA.”
             “Are you a member of RSM?” Asked Taklin taking  cue from Janette receiving no answer in return
             “Why is there anything wrong?” the good lady broke out.
             “None, I just admire your gut feeling.  Capt. Estrada gave me an impromptu lecture of your cause.”
             “And what about it?”
             It’s the real thing.”
             “Planning to be one?”
             “Hopefully . . . . “
             ‘Great . Welcome to the club.”
             “I think I’m not yet in..”
             “Unless you have your worth showing the battle field.”
             “Good you joined RSM.”
             “Again  but I don’t believe in the superiority of man over woman.  It’s just that our culture puts us women in bad light as if we’re that cheap commodity.  Look on the announcements on several job openings. What has age, height, experience and all that got to do with the capability of female to deliver the goods?  What is so special to men that we women could not do or perform.  I couldn’t think of any.  To think that even the texture of skin, figure of fingers and all that they sum up as pleasing personality are solicited it seems to me they are up to something evil making their intent doubly suspicious. Look whatever it means here that gender becomes a variable”
             “Nice meeting you Jeanette.  I’m 437859 or simply Taklin.  May name is in vernacular.  But mind you it’s one of the best name we have in village at least, it’s what my mother told me.  Don’t worry I’ll pass later  an order opening PMA admission for women – the bright ones – like you,” he said reciprocating the good cheer of his new found friend inside the academy.
Little of course, did Taklin realized than when his conjecture became reality PMA opens its admission to female applicants later.
             “I wish you good luck.  Save your adrenaline to your difficult training here and in the library.  And remember your promise when you become President of the PMA.”
He hurriedly put on his sport outfit and after surveying his room, the cabinet, study table and spring bed, went downstairs.
             Executing a snappy salute to Lot. Co. Pancho the Supt. Of the PMA standing over the platform, he situated himself at the hearing distance  to hear all things the Supt. would deliver.  Looking around, he would notice that almost all, save one, are shaven.  Their eyes were all fixed to the Superintendent.
             “Good morning boys,” the superintendent blared through the megaphone.
             “Good morning to Sir,” roared the incoming plebes.
             “It’s good to see you folks young as your are enjoying young vitality to this noble institution. I welcome you all with open hearts and minds to this holy place.  Many Filipinos have already come and go in the portals of this academy.
              “Some survived the rest have their bodied felled to the ground.  The unfortunate ones died of course, why not. We are not mortals anyway.  But mind you dying for the love and defense of the country, is the sweetest legacy one could ever leave in  his world.  Just asking, what  if the cause of death is a bullet from a Filipino himself  there in war zone.  We don’t care.  The country is caught on fire said St. Teresa of Avila many centuries past.  It is not proper time to pray.  The country still does.  Just look on top stories in any of our national dailies.  Killing, salvaging, massacre, kidnapping here and there.  When would this fire be extinguished no one knows.  For as long as man is enslaved by greed for power, glory and money our country would continue suffering.  And do you like that this bleeding would go on unabated. I don’t think so otherwise you would have not been here.”
There ensued brief silence as Col. Pancho surveys once more his audience waiting  for any brave souls  to raise questions and or clarification. None.”
             “I definitely hate giving you this kind of talk as I might pre-empt your sanity and judgment.  But better to lay down this early our card than not at all because our life is practically different consecrated to far higher noble purpose  from other men – protect life, property and country from godlessness, restlessness and lawlessness.”
             “But like a priest, ours is also consecrated for a nobler purpose that of defending our country, securing its territories form the enemies both from the left,  right and center. I mean the communist and those who have messianic complex from the ranks of bureaucracy.”
             “Quite incredible but true.  I might too idealistic about it but I believe that loving our country is tantamount to lying oneself and of God. Isn’t it that God so command us to love our neighbor as ourselves anyway,” the superintendent preaches.  That makes his statement infallibly valid no one among his listeners challenged.  He went on narrating his exploits, the drama unfolding on his life in school, battle field, community and church.
             “Life is full of challenge.  And it’s good to redirect our energies to that direction.  Our country you see is the only one we’ve got.  There ‘s no used fighting against it.  There should be order in the first place But look there is chaos instead. No wonder President Marcos came to the rescue.  Ours is also part of that effort.  The President can’t do alone containing that restlessness.  We should come to his rescue.  Thus, the need of enforcing the  law. And what would you do when reason fails. Probably, force will!”
             “What’s the use of creating these laws if we could not promulgate it in our land, if I may ask you?”
             “Mind you our task ahead is never peanuts.  Those who think otherwise are encouraged to leave this premises anytime.  In fact, you need not inform me.  You can arrange it yourself with the registrar anytime.  And you can have your fare back home free.  We need only those who have heart to withstand  the rigor of the training.  In short, we don’t need cowards.  We need men who could answer the need of the time that of defending the country, its territories and yes most importantly, its people.  You’re right, there’s no substitute for bravery.”
             “Freedom’s for the brave only Sir,” Taklin recalling the familiar maxim from Horace in high school.
             “O thanks.  I’m giving you extra merit of your candidness. Must be freedom loving gentleman yourself Mister?”
             “I am!” Taklin echoed getting the attention of the plebs nearby.
“Remember, democracy was never given in a silver platter by our ancestors to us.  They fought for it against the Japanese, Spanish Colonizers, Americans, commies and what have you. You should know we are still fighting it out securing democracy this time not against foreign invaders but against our very own brothers waylaid by godless ideology who are up in grabbing power from us.”
             “What a shame? For their extra effort of grabbing if from us, we’re returning back the compliment due them: bullets on their heads! Why not.  We will fight whatever the cost whether in any battlefields or in any forum in community, university and even inside the church.  If we could confuse them while fighting, the better.  If we have to fight tooth and nail to preserve democracy, we will do it as we’ve done it in the past.  We are doing it today and we will continue doing it in  the future.  God only knows if we  would survive.  Better die fighting than die as cowards so to speak.”
             “Never mind whatever happen as long as we are doing   our share.  That’s why we have PMA. It will help us fix what in a lifetime we could do it  in four years.  By that time, you are ready.  Then history would already be there to vindicate us whether we became heroes or villains.  But I hope the exploits of Lapulapu, Rajah Sulaiman, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, Luna brothers and scores of others who for many centuries had kept the flag of democracy alive waving proudly in the skies, would not be in vain. Or I’ll have what you’re got in between your legs cut off. . . , your two balls I mean,”  he said sending his captive audience laughing. 
             The audience eyes were all glued to the Superintendent and it seems that he is making their day and animated.
             “And now for a sensitive issue each one would probably like to ask but couldn’t. What’s the status now of our struggle in the country?  State is  in limbo, the reds might say.  There’s power struggle in the AFP itself and chances are might lead to disintegration of the entire Armed Forces, another would say.  There’s bloodshed everywhere, the media might also sensationalized.”
             “Which one is true? Depending on who is speaking perhaps.”
             “Well, to put it bluntly, whether we like it or not there are always excesses in    our fight against the rebels. Others would call it aversion.  What’s in a name. It’s the price we have to pay for our defense of democracy.  It’s rather scary alright but what could we do  sometimes fate is not on our side.  So if you feel like turning back.  By all means. We’re gentlemen anyway.  I’m not intimidating you all either.”
             “I repeat, it’s the only one we’ve got just as we have also that one life given to us by God. I may sound religious about it.  But it’s a fact no one can probably deny.”
             “For your training here, we have all the facilities I think you need for your stay with us.  It’s all yours. I hope you make the best of them. Mind you, they are considered as one of the best in Asia.  You need not got to visit other libraries nor gym to read or sweat it out.  Ours is quiet sophisticated than theirs.  There’s aso St. Ignatius chapel, the oval and classroom complete with laboratories. Everything are well prepared for you here – refectory, dormitory and the rest.”
             “The weather, yes, here is also perfect.  Keep both your mind and body always fresh.  It’s important.  The government takes cognizant of that too.  That’s why we have this academy established right here on top of this mountain. Okey boys are you still listening or just pretending listening to me?”
             “Sir yes Sir . . . , “ the thunderous reply.
             “We’re quiet up wide awake and I think your resonant voice would  allow us to even just one minute nap,” Taklin volunteered anew. Unsolicited laughter from the audience ensued.
             “Great gentleman.  At least I know that you’re all wide awake,“ the Superintendent voice booms once more.
             “Any question so far?”
             “What if I would not survive Sir . . . ?” asked one applicant out of the blue.
             “Then report to the registrar’s office for your fare back home.  Must be sleeping while I was talking earlier.            
             “I’m right here before you listening,” answered swiftly by the pleb obviously burdened by the implication of the Superintendent’s query.
             “Better for you to go back home and plant sweet potato than staying with us wasting your time.  What would you do anyway if chances are you withstand the rigors of training but could not even fire a single bullet against your enemies later in war zones.    If I were you, I would rather have my balls in between my legs cut off than serving military.  Never mind if my girlfriend would leave me. How would I make her happy anyway without one anyway,” sustained laughter ensued.
             “You see folks don’t ever get me wrong.  There’s just no substitute for bravery. Intelligence and bravery should go hand in hand.  Of course, we need luck but that is only considered as an X-factor by a military.  If we could conquer our enemies without firing a single bullet, we should pursue it.  The Academy, “he emphasized pointing his forefinger to the ground.
             “To err is human indeed but to fix things up requires four years stay in the PMA so to speak.  Good luck.  Hope you would have nice and fruitful stay with us.  My great thanks for your general listening patience.  May all you survive,” the superintendent said before withdrawing from audience.
. . . . . . . . . . . .

             Taklin’s first year was very tough. Normally, it’s the toughest of the four years stay in PMA.   And as it gradually elevated  to higher year, the manageable the training became. Lt. Col. Pancho was right, he thought. Only few survived, half of his  classmates were out.  But he remains undaunted if only to prove that he really meant business taking military science there. It’s just a question of patience.  He got bravery and intelligence, he’s right.  But they’re not enough.  That’s where the superintendent fails.  Patience is the missing nexus. It outlives is abhorrence of paying forced respect to the senior officers who are exacting “Sir” from the subordinates.  Thousands of push –ups, jogging and other punishments out of the heck of it made at the slightest provocation became routinely in the end.  It’s part of the challenge of becoming one with the chosen group like Capt. Estrada and Major Ludimer nothing less.  No shortcut.  The harder, the better.
             On the contrary, there were dramatic and colorful chapters in his stay at PMA.
             “It’s the reality,” Taklin himself later learns. Who could also forget the mock battles he engaged in sending terror down his spine. Ambush, psyche-war, snake crawl, commando tactics, blitzkrieg attack and the rest.  They ‘re all baptism of fire.  But it’s only a prelude to harsher reality he’s bound to meet later.  And that’s were survival of the fittest would finally be tested.
             Would he survive? This is another dimension of his life he is yet to face and experience. 
             “If others were able to make it, why  couldn’t he  follow suit,” he challenged himself again.  
             “It  just doesn’t make any sense investing so much time and effort at the PMA for many years marked by grueling hardships and then folds away like marshmallow in the last stretch of your stay in the academy.  Unwise investment indeed.”
             “I’ll go there once I’ll  cross the first bridge,” he told himself.
. . . . . .  . . . . . .

             Unfortunately, it was ironic that while he just graduated with flying colors, tragedy right away beckoned on him. Rona was abducted from her school having been mistakenly included in the Roll of Battle by the military. She was never seen again nor returned to her teaching post since then. Two more of his brothers were not as lucky. They were brutally murdered one after the other of forces beyond  his knowledge. This incident prompted his parents withdraw from their farm and resettled in Poblacion leaving farming for good. Good that Mang Tonio and Eliza evacuated otherwise, they too would have been burned to death when armed combatants with bonnet set their house on fire without any justifiable reason at all. Fortunately they were lucky they miraculously survived the ordeal when the armed men returned back and burned their farm house. Cenon, their youngest son was not as lucky. He never came back after he was taken as guide by the group. Must have been shot while coming back from their mission.  
             “Thrice in a row!”Taklin could hardly believe the fate  happened involving his family.
The pattern is fast unfolding like fiction caught in a maze  leaving many observers  reeling in the background. Ordinary but concerned taxpayers of Sta. Rita are also caught in deep  bated breath probably reeking with anger and impatience over the incredibly slow pace addressing the hostility going on.
             “What would happen next as the plot and  sub plots thickens building into a classic story in the making catching everybody off guard from an unexpected turn and twist of events. Who’s just really next?” sometimes were disturbing questions filing the air unanswered.
             Unfortunately, Taklin family’s massacre is such a despicable  story earning bad niche probably as the country’s  most dangerous place for any taxpayers engaging their  business relegating some hotspots in Mindanao in the background. Lately, two or three journalists were added in a separate incidents to the long list of statistics further aggravating that infamy smacking  right before  peace-loving Sta. Rita residents. As enjoined by concerned public officials  albeit considered as road less traveled, it was behooved upon our officials  in authority to fast track solving the problem.  Sadly though it’s the other way around. They mess up instead with the issue in the case of Commission of Human Rights and Department of Justice passing the buck instead among themselves.
             “Where is now our justice and legal system in solving the case  whose victims  are innocent civilians?”
             “The incident hit us really hard and we would not probably recover lost prestige and confidence from people around the country should the issue further dragged all the more ad infinitum,” Taklin synthesized.
             “Fiction should have no room in this story. But look what happened to the case. Instead of addressing the issue and solving the crime of the day with dispatch, it seems it would take a miracle closing the case  dragging  further to nowhere turning the event the other  way around. “
“Two vital witnesses’ lives were already silenced and maybe their blood would continue haunting us the longer  while our authority are sitting on their job. It is just hoped that  DOJ would make good their promise doing their job delivering justice to where it is due,” were some of the complaint not addressed.
              First to fall  was an uncle of a witness. That happened two months after. Next casualty falling  on the dragnet ending as another statistics of the case  was Sostheno  Phame,  alias Koko the self-confessed accomplice of suspect. As of the latest, Larry Quero, the counsel of the family said they are in  possession of four vital witnesses to the massacre.  But better coordinating  with DOJ in providing protection or the two vital witnesses  might again be considered dead men walking.
Koko  openly admitted, he was a willing  participant in the conspiracy for a fee leading to  cold blooded death of de la Rosas shocking the taxpayers of Esperanza. The motive – clearing the road towards election next year.
             “If so then, the casualties were mere sacrificial lambs. Nong Tonio was actually  the target. Possibly because of his winnability for Mayor next election,” the thought playing in his mind.
             “What happened therefore was sending home a message –scaring his family to leave the town for good  or the series of events would go further unabated until they are wiped out from the municipality,” the scary reality unfolding.
             Koko was actually in Manila two months earlier in March and April but returned back in town  when DOJ denied protection  for his  two scheduled  interview. Leaving Manila, his days was already numbered as he went back in the province.  Soon unforeseen incident overtook him as he finds himself soaked from his own blood in Manila before he could fulfill his promise  returning home to spill the beans. With his death, he  buried with him  many  important leads otherwise would have  established possible indictment and punitive penalty to  the mastermind of the killing.
Koko stated that Rona was the first to be killed followed by his two brothers to give the family no chance of filing Mang Tonio’s candidacy. The mastermind. would then ordered  seven gunmen firing indiscriminately towards their houses or while inside their vehicle despite earnest request pleading saving their lives.
             At least four more others  were killed outright in that arbitrary burst of gunfire, he declared. Shown at  the height of arrogance, the mastermind  has even the gall uttering ominous phrase as he bade adieu his men after surrender: “Nothing will happen to their case. I have all the guns, gold and goons to handle that,” the Philippine Star  columnist would write later of the incident quoting categorically the words of the mastermind..  And true enough, Koko just suffered  in silence. Why really not as the Mastermind already insinuated. That problem is they didn’t take his words for it. Now they are reaping the dirty dividend.
             This is what gripping the town as peace is so illusive  what with the untouchable Almighty Big Brother  intimidating  to silence any witnesses. 
             Meanwhile, Asst. Chief Prosecutor Richard Nolledo assigned handling the case will validate and conduct cross examination of the new witnesses in due time. He is Dino Osias, self-confessed trusted assistant of OIC Vice Mayor Victor Reyes, replacement of Mayor Torres. Will he or will he not spilled the beans.”
             “Or will he not succumbed to temptation to almighty peso and buckle in the end before the closure of the case.”
             “The better DOJ now provides him security to secure his safety and the revelation he will declare.” Taklin thought.
             “Enough for Cagra and other high ranking officials whose impartiality of treating the case was proven  suspect. Too many blood already spilled out in Esperanza.”
             “Their voices from the mass grave have been  crying justice to high heaven. Better to act swiftly or another unexpected incident happens from this episode as in a fiction.,” the thought pre-occupying Taklin.
             Truth to tell, Taklin’s words proved prophetic. His most dreaded incident happened completing vicious cycle of violence in his province. The impact hit him really hard like no other. Now, asking what happened becomes an elusive question.
             And granting there are answers, how in the world that his family with him identified with the Powers-that-be as military are even not exempted from violence.
             Death happened to Fr. Driarco’s family representing innocent sector being identified with church. Here he is now suffering the same fate for reasons could not understand let alone, accept.
“How is this and what’s up for all of this?” he queried possible answer blown in the wind.

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