Saturday, June 6, 2009

We Remember Ka Rene, We Will Never Forget Your Crimes

I have just woken up from a long slumber and I never expected receiving such an outrageous profanity as this. We received an update from Ateneo Sanggunian's President for AY 08-09 Omar Castanar with regards to a tragedy that struck our beloved farmers fighting for CARPER.

At 5:39AM today, I received a devastating text message from Ate Jane of KAISAHAN:

Ka Rene Penas, farmer leader and paralegal from Sumilao, was ambushed at around 11pm last night, 5June. He was on his way home when he was shot. We are condemning this brutal death of a leader who lived a life fighting for agrarian reform and social justice: for their land in Sumilao, for other land cases, and for CARPER. Pls pray for his loved ones and for justice to be served.

Grabe! Sumosobra na sila! P*t*ng*na naman! Paano na ang asawa't mga anak ni Ka Rene? Kung akala nila manghihina ang loob ng mga magsasakang humahanap ng katarungan dahil sa pagkamatay ng isa sa kanilang mga pinuno, nagkakamali sila! Lalo lang nilang ginalit ang mga magsasakang matagal nang nagtitiis sa hirap!

Ka Rene, kung nasaan ka man, nawa ay maging masaya ka. Itutuloy po namin ang laban na inyong sinimulan noong ikaw ay nabubuhay pa.

Nawa ang kapayapaan ng Panginoon ay sumaiyo.

According to Ate Jane, the body of Ka Rene is still in the very spot where he was shot down last night in Sumilao, Bukidnon. The SOCO (Scene of the Crime Operative) has yet to remove his body.

Such things remind me and affirms my belief in the futility of putting faith in a system more so an institution, which only occassionally throws scraps at the impoverished, dying masses. I condemn all institutions which were supposed to protect its citizens standing for justice but, instead, proscribes them as threats to their opulent life. I accuse the vicious and venal opponents of land reform and social justice of once more shedding innocent and honorable blood.

We remember his efforts, his kindness and his tireless crusade against inequality and championing the right of the peasantry. We will remember for years to come his desire for a country which fosters the need of its citizens, is for its citizens, and by its citizens.

We shall never forget this sacrifice, and we shall never forget this calumny.


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