Good Bye, I Guess

“Just when I thought I was out, but they brought me back.”

Those were the words Michael Corleone uttered when he thought that he was done being a mobster in The Godfather Part 3.

On a personal note, I really thought it would end with whatever I posted the last time in my WordPress site but no. This summer break free from summer classes brought me back.

I just had a lot of school stuff to work on from the previous semester and a whole lot of life events that I really had to live through.

If there’s one word to describe what has happened the past few days after posting my disappointment over the death penalty, the word would be secluded.

I secluded myself to the point where I thought of deactivating this site. Not only because I have to go to school and hone my skills to become the writer that I want to be, but because I also lost the inspiration that provided me the will to write when I started this site.

My inspiration was not within the four corners of my age-old institution when I started writing. The inspiration was located in a place where I sought refuge or asylum from the smoke and damning concrete of Manila. The inspiration was in Diliman.

After uncovering something I should not have seen for myself, I knew that I should not have really forced the issue which I thought I could restore after I went there in December.
April of 2016 was my zero dark thirty with that aspiring actress.

She was brilliant when she performed that night in December. But the guilt that I harbored that April 2016 kept me from restoring what I broke.

I told myself, “I’ve had enough of you”. To which I learned that I should not go that far just to look for inspiration.

You don’t miss me that’s for sure. I don’t miss you either.

I no longer have your drawing in my possession. I tore it to shreds for it simply symbolizes how miserable I was when I thought I could make you fall for me. We both know how it ended.

That’s only one chapter.

In honing my skills with opinion writing, there’s just too much issue in this world to write about, and I can’t simply write about just one issue.

In the moments that we didn’t have cabled TV, all I can say is; it was fine.

It was okay for me that I didn’t get to watch CNN, BBC or Fox News because it’s just very toxic to see the war in Syria everyday on your TV. What more when the war on drugs in this country is on your local primetime news every night? Where TV broadcasts get to show the so-called criminal of the day.

The rebranding of OPLAN Tokhang to “Project Double-Barrel Reloaded” sounds grim to me than the latter.

Now that we have cable back, I try my best to watch the NBA at all times because to watch cable news TV is just toxic especially CNN. To which Donald Trump claims they are fake news. What’s toxic about CNN is broadcasting Trump everyday and he is unbearable to watch as president of the United States of America. Well of course the war on Syria, Iraq, or anywhere in the Arab region is also an unbearable sight simply because it’s war and I’m just fed up with war for it costs a lot of lives and money just for the arsenal.

With that being said, I simply take it as a challenge. The challenge to write in a period where every college student is either idle in some part of country or out of it. While some are making up for either lost time or grades (pun intended). Some would simply bring their school uniforms and play the vacant game.

Summer’s here again, and it’s not the right time to be dancing in the street like Jagger and Bowie did.

The heat never fails to run the fingers of some people and complain to social media just to trend and earn that notoriety for a screen shot.

The boredom of being confined in the concrete jungle known as Metro Manila makes people the worst people to be with because they’re not in some tropical paradise within this third world country or elsewhere. One example is a bunch of office workers who prey on the dinosaur of an office mate because of that person’s age and the generation gap that everyone knows.
The worst part is dealing with those people when they ask who do you have your sights on, then if you don’t play along you become the worst human being on this planet.

Summer can really become fun, only if you can make yourself productive. Instead of just lying down to watch the NBA and see if LeBron James would lose or Russell Westbrook scores a triple-double.

If only I didn’t run and win it, I would have just went to my cousin’s house and drink under the sun. But with that triumph, I now have to bear a responsibility no one dared to bear.

That being said, this is my final post for this site. It was fun. It was fun while it lasted. No thanks to you, the government and YOU.

I truly wish that I could have wrote more for this but I just need more time and skills to write.

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DISAPPOINTMENT ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

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(C) Josh Rushing

I can’t believe that I’m saying this; WHAT A GREAT TIME TO BE ALIVE.

Before President Duterte assumed office last year, I was in favor of bringing it back because no one was afraid of committing a crime during the last three years of the Aquino administration. But when the talks of the death penalty rose from the ashes only to know that it will not put rape, treason, and plunder as grounds for capital punishment it just left me disappointed. Just like how a kid was so excited to ask his parents for a brand new toy, until your father tells you that he just went jobless after his place of work got closed. No thanks from the world market.

The “refined” version of death penalty here in the Philippines is on the verge of resurrection. No thanks to the majority of the Philippine congress. The Philippine senate has yet to make progress.

What’s the matter lawmakers from the House of Representatives? Too guilty to put the following crimes as grounds for capital punishment?

If I only knew, you people are just too scared that you really saved your skins first before putting principles first. That is if you have any.

You can’t simply count with your fingers the number of congressmen who are just too dumb to bring back the death penalty because they want to get rid of the drug addicts, drug pushers, drug lords and the like. It’s either they’re too scared of President Duterte to reject the bill that might revive the death penalty after the third reading, or they’re simply riding on the popularity of President Duterte to bring it back.

To me, why bring back a system that didn’t help to lessen criminality in this country if the old ‘Oplan Tokhang’ got rebranded to ‘Project Double-Barrel Reloaded’ and still get the same results after this? Even if it says on paper that it will be less bloody. Which everybody doubts.

To bring it back to the system is making those other crimes look decriminalized.

Which is why the suspect of the road-rage shooting at the intersection of Quezon Avenue and Tuazon, Fredison Atienza is hiding from the law, but then you would realize that Rolito Go, who did the same manner of crime didn’t get the lethal injection. Instead, he served a life sentence since shooting Eldon Maguan. We are just hoping that whatever sickness Go has would take his life soon.

It’s just simply pointless when this gets back to our government system. It’s simply pointless when this will not be imposed on foreigners who are operating their drug rackets here. I’m not saying that we should get even with China who has given the death penalty to Filipinos that became drug mules not only in China. Syndicates that turned overseas Filipino workers to drug mules didn’t just deploy them on China. They have deployed some to Arab countries, and those Arab countries have a tighter grip when it comes to that.

In our manner of handling drug offenders to foreigners, deportation is only making it worse because it leaves a mark. Not unless the drug racketeer knows how to tie loose ends when they get deported.

If this really gets back soon, I only hope that the government still has enough chemicals for lethal injection because it would be a shame if we are too old school by sentencing them to death by hanging.

Then again, we are a third world country. We could not afford such chemicals yet to bring back the manner Leo Echegaray got his death sentence in 1999. We could only spend less by sentencing them to hanging because ropes that are huge in diameter, looking very thick are the most affordable way of imposing it. Just don’t forget the bag to mask the face of the criminal.

To End With You 2016, A Year In Review

 

The year 2016 is very forgettable for me that I just want this year to be over already.

Popular culture and entertainment this year suffered a huge blow with the demise of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali and Arnold Palmer in sports, Gene Wilder, Prince, and Gary Marshall.

Here in the Philippines, I still find it hard to believe that German Moreno is gone. I also find it hard that I am up on a Saturday Night, channel surfing, passing by channels with our TV remote that his show, ‘Walang Tulugan’ providing air time for some unrecognized talent is no longer airing. All of a sudden, I remember my late grandmother ranting on why can’t German Moreno just sleep and retire when both of them are still here.

I never thought of these guys dying this year. If you are a very nostalgic person, you would definitely cry whenever you look back to these moments.

When they were living, we didn’t even notice that these guys are already preparing for immortality in their respective fields. Alan Rickman is already immortal when you open a Harry Potter book and the moment you see the name Severus Snape, you would already hear his voice by reading Snape’s lines.

David Bowie is already immortal in his music. With David Bowie’s spirit around, he must have already proved to himself that there really is life on mars as he said in his song.

Muhammad Ali is not yet dead to me because a mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter like Conor McGregor is talking the way Ali did in his prime even if they don’t fight in the same sport as Muhammad Ali did, McGregor is proving he can walk the talk in the octagon. It’s not only McGregor that does this in the UFC. There are more fighters before who have done this but for the time being, it’s him.

Floyd Mayweather on the other hand is not someone I would not place next to Ali if you talk about greatness because he didn’t have a rival like Joe Frazier. Even if Mayweather tries his best to fight like Ali. A fighting style that didn’t involve so much punching but to leave opponents tired and living by float like a butterfly sting like a bee.

Garry Marshall is immortal for his direction of his romantic comedies in movies like Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and Princess Diaries 1 and 2 that set Anne Hathaway’s career to the top. As for Zach Braff’s and Anne Hathaway’s posts on the passing of their beloved Ggarry Marshall, it is truly a heartfelt post.

Gene Wilder, will always be Willy Wonka to me before Johnny Depp. What immortalizes Gene Wilder are the memes that seem to ask a person of how bad a situation is but it is not really what he was saying in the movie.

Prince will probably be remembered by that impersonation of Dave Chappelle in one his skits in his old TV show in ‘The Chappelle Show’ years ago than his music.

In politics, the demise of Fidel Castro is something I didn’t expect this year but we all knew that he is old and still defied the United States of America. Even if he stepped down as president of Cuba, he did not only defy the US, he also continued to divide Cuban families through the defection of Cuban exiles. Both in an era where he was healthy and  dying.

The demise of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Asia’s undisputed iron lady was something I didn’t want to happen. Even if there are already signs that her sickness is already tearing her condition apart. When she lost the election that elected President Rodrigo Duterte, I was just hoping that by 2022, we, who voted for MDS would gloat that voting for Duterte is the biggest mistake of fifteen million plus people.

When some Filipinos posted on ‘why are we so affected by the United States elections?’ It’s only because the fate of the world’s economy is at risk. Another issue is our diplomatic ties were at risk after President Duterte’s declaration to the people of China in his state visit that he would break up with the US in economy and military partnership. But after that call by President Duterte to President-elect Donald Trump, it seems that the Philippine President and the US President-elect would get along and uphold our diplomatic ties.

As for the new US Ambassor designated here, Ambassador Sung Kim, I just hope he does not get the foul mouth and name-calling that outgoing Ambassador Philip Goldberg got from President Duterte as the former Ambassador to the Philippines was called a homosexual.

The year is so forgettable for the Philippines that President Duterte considered the burial of President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Well, that was one way of winning the election as he promised the people of Ilocos Norte the burial of their favorite Ilokano.

On a personal note, I still can’t believe my grandfather, my mother’s dad has passed away before Juan Ponce Enrile. My grandfather is just seven years younger than Enrile and it’s just unacceptable. I was just looking forward to a Christmas getaway with my family but I can no longer have that.

My grandfather Panfilo P. Maglines, Sr. is the reason why I have the letter M as my middle initial.

This year I also learned that you really can’t hurry love if you are just driven to finish your academics. I also learned that you can instantly get yourself a girlfriend if you are buff like Johnny Bravo and you also have a car. Just be sure that your car is a BMW or one of those drag racing cars. Because girls who don’t have the luxury of paying a Uber driver would definitely go for those guys. It’s no longer how one guy can treat you dinner or a movie date anymore.

One of the few things that I would only look back to 2016 first is with sports on how Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt exited the Olympic stage in style. So as the closing ceremonies of the Rio Olympics in which Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe showed up wearing a Super Mario cap. Another reason to look back to this year is how the 2016 Chicago Cubs ended the jokes towards their title drought of 108 years.

Another is how Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Academy Award after so many nominations. He also ended those memes of being a “Oscarless” actor not just the Chicago Cubs.

In the Philippine Basketball Association, even if it’s only a title drought of eight years Barangay Ginebra’s championship ended those memes. But it gave birth to those other memes saying, ‘Oh wait they’ve already’ won. What many people don’t realize about the Ginebra championship is that their title drought of eight years is the longest among active teams and people totally made a big deal out of it.

In the spirit of true Pinoy pride, Jaclyn Jose brought home the first Cannes film festival for her performance in ‘Ma Rosa’. Jaclyn Jose’s win at the Cannes film festival is truly Pinoy pride and it truly strengthen Filipino filmmakers. Especially the ones in the independent scene.

Pinoy pride to me is not some appearance of a Filipino-American in a Hollywood production, or the presence of an half bred in a franchised competition on television even or sporting leagues like basketball or baseball. It just irritates me that some Filipinos in the internet makes a big deal about it when it shouldn’t be. I don’t even think that other foreigners make a big deal out of it when someone makes it to Hollywood. Like how one Bollywood actor got to be in a Hollywood movie, or how a Latin American

The nanny of Singaporean Olympic swimmer Joseph Schooling, Yolanda “Yolly” Pascual is an exception for she is an Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and she is visibly present in most of Joseph’s life moments like the recent Olympics. OFWs truly have a soft spot for me because my mom is one of them. Keeping me enrolled in college and satisfied with the joys of life when she has something to spare together with my dad.

With only a few days before Christmas, and eventually I know the year will end with a bang. But I just want this year to end now!

I want the year 2017 to be tomorrow already because in the Chinese’s perspective, it’s the year of the Rooster which is my year not only to celebrate and hope for good luck. I am ready to reap then sow the things that I would like to have in 2017.

My First Demonstration Attended

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After my last Saturday class for the year 2016, I felt so low because I didn’t ace the quiz from that class. After that I went to this demonstration at Liwasan Bonifacio to get rid of the agony. I didn’t plan to go that demonstration because I planned to visit my uncle confined in Makati Medical Center. My motive was just to yell my heart out for the disappointment of that quiz.

The demonstration last Saturday on December 10, 2016 first is in honor of international human rights day. Another issue for their gathering is for the never ending cry of the people for the Armed Forces to go away from the provinces for them to live in peace. And of course, the injustice that is the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Even to release political prisoners.

In a rally like that you would always see common elements that you get to see on TV. There’s always the effigy artistically made that eventually gets burned by the demonstrators themselves. Another element are groups that’s always present like Gabriela, Akbayan, Bayan Muna that never fails to show up every rally or demonstration that never changes their plead or cry.

Coming to that demonstration, I overheard a small group of photographers joking about how much they are paid to come and yell their hearts out before listening to what the speakers on that demonstration are going to say. But judging from how they built their conversation, it seems that they just love to go to demonstrations like that.

I hesitated to ask some of the people around me on how long have they been attending demonstrations like those because one that was the first demonstration that I attended, and I was in my school uniform and some might think that I am some kind of spy. Knowing how activists think even though my school is not that far from Liwasan Bonifacio and the Manila Central Post Office, you can never be sure.

If you could just to look on their faces, you could just see how long they have been joining these demonstrations. Some could look as old as your professor in college or a close relative.

Young ones joining these demonstrations can be as young just like a child in their developing age but they are accompanied by the parent or parents who are activists.

I didn’t stay that long in the demonstration because I still have to visit my uncle.

If I didn’t study in a private sectarian institution like the one I’m in right now, I would not only risk my life in a demonstration. I would go there every time there is one that truly involves national interest. The best part for the crammer in me is that I would be more happy for a suspension of classes due to a walkout for the tuition hike not only because of national issues like those.

The Electoral College

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It’s been more than two weeks since Donald Trump became the president-elect of the United States of America and for the first time since Al Gore, a Democratic candidate in Hillary Clinton won the popularity and lost the election because of Electoral College vote so to speak.

Now as a Filipino, I’m beginning to wonder what really is the Electoral College and why does it play a vital role in their election.

From the US Constitution

For starters I learned that the Electoral College is a system established by Article Two the United States constitution in their presidential election system to select their president and vice president, where citizens of the US in each state at a general election choose a slate of electors pledged to vote for a candidate.

The Twelfth Amendment of their constitution however requires each elector to cast one vote for president and vice president. In each state and the District of Columbia, electors are chosen every four years on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and then meet to cast ballots on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December. The candidates who receive an absolute majority of electoral votes among the states are elected President and Vice President of the US when the Electoral College vote is certified the US Congress in January.

As for the people involved in the process, there are 538 electors that corresponds to the 435 representatives in their congress, their 100 senators, and the three electors coming for the District of Columbia as mandated by their Twenty-third Amendment.

For the simplest explanation, the Electoral College is the group of people assigned to oversee the election in the state they are designated and they get to decide the outcome with the electoral votes based from the population size of the state. The vote people made only serves as basis, and these electors could change your vote.

The Bad Side of the Electoral College

What I don’t like about the Electoral College is how candidates must campaign hard on the biggest states in the US during their campaign season leading to their election year. Because to secure most of these states and their electoral votes is how a candidate can win the Electoral College. Namely these states are California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan. You can even consider Virginia.

Looking back on the recent US election, Donald Trump won the most of these states with its electoral votes. While Hillary Clinton only got California, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.

Which is why if you’re a candidate that only got a few of these big states like California, New York and New Jersey together with their traditional safe states that only has a single digit of electoral votes, you are surely to lose the election because your opponent garnered the most of the big states not only their traditional safe states. The opponent must have also campaigned hard enough to secure those states, most especially swing states like Florida and Ohio.

As mentioned in the first subhead, these people could turn your votes around because they are the electors.

If Only

If the Electoral College of the United States is already that complicated for international spectators, it would be a lot harder if a country like the Philippines did adapt this system. Since my motherland is the first colony of the United States.

If the election that elected President Rodrigo Duterte in power was an election that is decided by the Electoral College I am sure that he would still win the election and secure the whole of Mindanao. Most of the Visayas in Regions 6, 7, and 8. Northern Luzon which many Filipinos called “Solid North” especially in Ilocos Norte, even the National Capital Region.

If only we have the Electoral College and the electoral map is set and parallel to the political map, Luzon would always be a big battleground during election year. The biggest electoral number of votes may have to come from the region with the biggest number of registered voters, not with how big a region is since we have rural areas.

It could also be advantageous for some candidates because of the growing population of the Philippines.

The downside of the Electoral College if it’s in the Philippine setting is having the multi-party system, because in the Philippines no one is a third-party candidate but only nuisance candidates. More important is there’s no bipartisan system the way it is with the United States of having the Republican and Democratic parties. It will also be harder to set a “magic number” like the America’s 270 electoral votes to determine the winner.

The selection of electors in this kind of setup is even scary and you will never how situations like this can go bad since the Philippines will always have an election hotspot like Caloocan, Maguindanao, and Cotabato and these election hotspots don’t always intensify the national election but the local election intensifies it.

Farewell to Castro

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We only know him as the main man of the Cuban Revolution together with Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

A full-bearded man smoking tobacco in fatigues and one of the few world leaders who had the big cojones to defy the United States, the Man is no other than Fidel Castro.

If Filipinos are still enraged with the surprise burial of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the national cemetery or Libingan ng mga Bayani, lucky for Castro he will have his burial without question and delay because Cubans won’t dare to oppose his burial.

Halfway around the world people living in the United States particularly Cuban-Americans in Miami are celebrating his demise. Because for them his death serves as justice to their sacrifice to get out of Cuba and free themselves from the oppression of communism that Castro has when he took power from the US-backed regime of Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

Before his demise, I once considered him as a strong stubborn man that is just too bad to die. I say this because first he survived more assassination attempts than Adolf Hitler, second he shaped the twentieth century not only with his encounters with the United States during the early 1960s but the Cuban Revolution that truly placed him in power by adapting Soviet communism as the political framework of his country.

If Guevara was least known for being a physician before he became a revolutionary, Castro was least known for being a lawyer and politician that already has that rebellious reputation.

In his lifetime however, he lived under eight Popes beginning with Pius XI who began his Papacy in 1922 and had encounters with three Popes with Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. He outlasted ten United States presidents from President Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush before he stepped down due to his ailing condition. He witnessed the fall of his country’s closest ally, the Soviet Union in 1991 to which his country suffered in the economic aspect. Although he stepped down in power due to his ailing condition in 2006, he is witness to how the United States elected and re-elected the first African-America president in Barack Obama then almost elected the first woman president in Hillary Clinton.

In his lifetime also, he was able to tell the world the demise of his fellow revolutionary, Che Guevara after Guevara was captured and gunned down in Bolivia in 1967. Thirty years later, Guevara’s remains together with his compatriots in Bolivia were recovered and presented to Castro to be buried properly in Santa Clara, Cuba.

As a lover of video games, I find it amazing on how the people behind ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ depicted his failed assassination attempt during the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was not one of the difficult missions when you play the game but it gives you the feeling of what is like to kill one of the biggest pains in the neck of the United States and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Communism may no longer be that relevant in this world marred by terrorism to counteract western ideology, his ideals will live on in Cuba and to neighboring Latin American countries that admires his vigilance against the US.

Beyond Latin America, Russian president Vladimir Putin salutes him for his staunch ideals against the US. Which is no surprise to me for Putin was a former KGB.

Cuba may no longer be a force to reckon with in this world since 1962, we must not forget that a communist country like North Korea and China can instill fear worldwide.

The comandante truly lived his life to the fullest simply as a revolutionary just around his late twenties. Even in his twilight years as a leader and a person, he continues to divide his people from those who want to live and die in Cuba, to those who do not want to live in his rule. He truly made his mark in this world.

It’s just sad that Castro has gone to the next life while people like Juan Ponce Enrile are still given the chance to walk this earth. Even Imelda Marcos who outlived her husband, and it’s just too bad Imelda won’t get to be it buried next her better half because there’s no place her. In fact, why did we even let Ferdinand Marcos give that chance to be buried there.

The world may have lost a dictator in Castro but there will come a time where revolutions as well as revolutionaries will be brought back to the streets and guerilla warfare would continue for those smart enough to risk their lives no matter political ideology it may be to fight imperialistic countries.

It will take time. We will never know how and when it will be presented to us.

THE MASSACRE, THE FLAWED SYSTEM, AND THE FAITH TO BE RESTORED

 

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(C) Philippine Star

Seven years ago to this day, one moment in the history of this country discouraged me from taking up my current major or any other communication programs. One moment in my life where people around me telling bad jokes that to take up journalism is the fastest way to die, and that to take up psychology is the easiest way to become crazy.

A moment that truly placed the Philippines as one of the journalistic danger zones in the world other than war-torn countries like Iraq, North Korea or Syria for that matter, and that is the Maguindanao massacre.

It’s very, very disheartening that to this very day, no one from the Ampatuan family is convicted of the crime as they were pointed out by everyone. Most especially that backhoe with the branding of the city government at the time.

Television networks at some point counted the days from the massacre to the trial of the Ampatuans but the effort to count from that tragic day didn’t seem to move the courts to convict anyone.

It is one moment in history that still gives the Muslim-Filipinos (whether they are Moro or Maranao) that bad image, making them look like war freaks instead of hard-working Filipinos from the Southernmost region of the Philippines, Mindanao. Other than the radical image and presence of the Abu Sayyaf, and Nur Misuari’s rebellious reputation as the founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front.

In the six years that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino ran the country no one was convicted. The family members who were left by the people who died in those fields are still fighting for justice. They were hopeful for the previous administration to convict the Ampatuans but it didn’t happen. They were that hopeful because the Ampatuans were close to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and again the “bright hope” that they promise for the families of the victims were there since the Noynoy Aquino administration was an upcoming administration.

If President Rodrigo Duterte and the Supreme Court could allow the burial of President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, people aggravated by this event seven years ago through their surviving family members of the victims especially Governor Mangudadatu should urge the president and the high court to swiftly convict the Ampatuans for this.

Convicting the Ampatuans within this administration may not forgive President Duterte and the Supreme Court justices who favored the burial of Marcos at LNMB overnight, it may at least bring back the people’s faith to the justice system of this country. But again, I am reminded that most people are losing faith with the system because of how a mayor in the province of Albuera in Leyte that unconditionally surrendered was gunned down within his cell. While small time drug pushers and addicts are easily gunned down without due process.

It would be unpatriotic to lose faith in the justice system just because it allowed a dictator to be buried at the national cemetery and a mass murder didn’t convict a family with a private army. The lack of reforms in the justice system tolerates situations like these. Why didn’t constitution just say in legalese that Ferdinand E. Marcos will never be allowed a hero’s burial. The number of appeals and the delaying tactics made by the lawyers of the Ampatuan clan let them live free despite the tragedy.

We will never know when the right time will be for the Ampatuans to be convicted. So no matter how screwed up the justice system is, we can only be hopeful that one day people like them will be behind bars.