After all the shouting

A YEAR and two days have passed since 58 people were killed in the province of Maguindanao. Twelve months and two days after innocent people were killed, nothing so far has changed. We still have the same brand of politics. We still have the same kind of media. We still live in the same magical world of hope and despair.

We did not forget the victims of the gruesome killing. We had our candle-lightings, marches, Masses and even profile displays on Facebook. We recited poetry and sang sad songs that many of us hardly understand. We cried our hearts out, we shouted, we protested.

A day after, many of us forget. We have to go back to the daily grind of life. We have to earn our next meal. We have to dream what’s next in our lives. We have to keep watch over our beats and wait for the next victim of the brutality of our city streets. We have to write our stories. We cannot live by just remembering.

We want our government to do something. Our president even sided with us when we asked for a live media coverage of the trial. Even the defense panel wanted it too. Some wanted a marathon hearing. Others
wanted a special court for the “trial of the century.”

We vowed not to forget the lessons of the Nov. 23 massacre. But do we really know what the lessons are?

Some said there should be a stop to the existence of private armies and political warlords. Of course, we all know that it’s something not possible. One just has to look around, especially in the provinces of Mindanao.

Media groups call for just wages for all journalists, especially in the provinces, so that they will not be dependent on the politicians and policemen, drug lords and warlords, civil society and interest groups who are out to push for their selfish agenda. Of course, we all know it’s something not possible.

One just has to look around.

Some say we have to move forward and leave the past behind. We all know it’s not possible. We have to demand justice and we have to get it no matter what. Wait. It’s not “we,” it’s the families of the victims, it’s “they.” We all know that despite all the things we’ve said and the vows we’ve made, we will surely forget one way or the other. Only those who really love never forget. Somebody else must have said that.

After all the shouting, silence comes. As the adrenaline goes down, let us start the real remembering. What really must we, as individuals or as a group maybe, or as a community, do to achieve what we proclaim in the midst of all the frenzy. Are we ready to bet our balls and kick ass to make things happen in this country?

A year and two days have passed since 58 people were killed in the province of Maguindanao. Twelve months and two days after innocent people were killed, and what we have done is just shout slogans we really don’t understand. Joe Torres

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