A blog post for fellow Masbateños.
The killing of Arturo Maristela, the vice mayor of Aroroy, Masbate, has once again established and fortified the province as the political killing capital of the Philippines (forget about Maguindanao). Gunned down by a motorcycle-riding tandem last January 4, 2010 at West Fairview, Quezon City, Vice Mayor Arturo Maristela is a victim of another premeditated and politically motivated assassination. According to supporters he was killed because he left his party-mates and shifted to the rival party. He was a potential candidate for congressional post in his district in the forthcoming 2013 elections.
The vice mayor’s killing, when contrasted with the late Congressman Fausto Seachon’s assassination in 2005, established a similar and familiar pattern. The late vice mayor and the late congressman shared somewhat parallel fate: both were killed approximately two years ahead of elections in their respective time. The motive of the killings, supporters alleged, was to preclude election victory. They were both killed in the places where and when they are most vulnerable – away from their respective turfs. In Masbate, hearing news of killings like this, especially during elections, is nothing but a routine, a way of life, an ordinary event for us Masbateños.
Masbate is so ‘popular’ that my colleagues at work labeled the province a home to alleged hardened criminal, who masterminded almost all political killings in the province, who does not value life but plays the role of an elected official who will do whatever it takes just to cling to power. Ironically, the notorious attribute of Masbate province has helped the province gain a ‘spot in the Geographical Map’ in addition to a spot on the ‘National Poverty Map’ that put the province at 7th place. And would you believe that Masbate’s notoriety has earned me a celebrity status among my colleagues at work? Everytime Masbate hits the headline they would always turn me into a privy to the story; an instant storyteller. This gives me the opportunity to brag and tell something about my province.
At work when colleagues talk about things associated with provinces, simple questions like ‘what sweet delicacies Masbate province has’ - oftentimes alienated me from the rest. There is none that I can bring and offer them as pasalubong coming from home that showcases the province. Officemates who come from Bohol province, for example, have ‘kalamay’ and ‘peanut kisses’ to show off. Those from Cebu can brag about their ‘otap’ and ‘dried mango’. And those from Bacolod and Iloilo are proud of their ‘piaya’. Almost everyone has something from home that helps promote and identify their home provinces. Frustrated to find an answer to the same question posed by colleagues over and over again, I would often respond with exaggeration: “In my home province we have ‘minatamis na bala (sweetened bullet)’, ‘atsarang bala (pickled bullets)’ and etc.” Or, I would tell them to come to my province and see for themselves how bullets would rain during election period.
Literally, bullets are indeed raining in Masbate province when an election is approaching. On seasons like this, what concerns everyone in our province is not the question of who’s going to win the election; it is about who is going to get killed. Good men are killed during this period of time, outlived by their evil counterparts. In my previous blogpost, ‘A Visit to my Hometown’, I called the season ‘The Devil’s season’. It is when one starts tallying the running total count of kills resulting from ambushes and assassinations. What is remarkable in most, if not all, of these killings is that it is believed to be perpetrated by the same group and masterminded by the same person. Being always able to evade conviction in court, this person has developed a penchant for killing. He is allegedly responsible for the assassinations of notable politicians in Masbate which all happen to be his nemesis. Among those assassinated allegedly upon his orders are the late Congresman Fausto Seachon Jr., the late Vice Governor Mario Espinosa, and the late Congressman Tito Espinosa. Expect more addition to this list as 2013 election is fast approaching. And take note, we are two years away from 2013 election: everything now is possible to happen. The vice mayor's killing is just a warm-up.
As ordinary citizens we can only wish for a peaceful Masbate province in the days ahead. However, it can only be achieved if the killings stop! Would it be possible? Maybe yes.
Here’s how the killings in Masbate province may stop or may be stopped:
Immobilizing or disabling the mastermind by hiring a MANGKUKULAM:
With his army of security escorts, the mastermind is invincible. He is invulnerable to the wraths of the avenging family members of his victims. And with his battery of lawyers, he is also invulnerable to the claws and fangs of justice. He’s never been convicted of murder for lack of evidence.
Since vengeance killing will never be an option, the families of the victims; in order to extract justice, may opt to hire a Mangkukulam (a Filipino version of witch or sorcerer) to punish the father of all the political murderers in the province of Masbate. Independently, any concerned Masbateño may also do the same. There is abundant supply of mangkukulams in Siquijor Island, Philippines which can be hired to do the punishment through witchcraft. Although this may be regarded as superstitions and may not guarantee a hundred percent success, we just hope that this may somehow work for the future of our province. Who knows?
A mangkukulam, a priestess of the dark arts, specializes in revenge of the cruelest kind. She operates using a doll as surrogate to the intended target of sorcery. By a special dark spell and ritual, anything that is done to the doll will happen to the target person. So, if we were to immobilize or disable the target, which in this case is the father of all the killers in Masbate, then I would advise the mangkukulam to decapitate the doll: both upper and lower limbs. I would also advise for the removal of both eyes and cutting the tongue. This would somehow bring justice to the victims of this devil. What do you think?
Letting the law of NATURE or the DIVINE law take its course:
As Christians, we do not wish for someone’s death to avenge for the death of murdered loved ones. But as human beings, we do wish for a punishment for murderers. We collectively call it - JUSTICE. And since justice cannot be extracted from our judicial system, we tend to trust upon the divine will to extract justice for us. We call it karma.
Although karma is not considered a punishment or retribution but a consequence to one’s deeds or acts, it is the best form of justice. It is inevitable. You steal or grab something from your constituents using your influence and sooner everything will be taken from you - including your health, wealth and your love ones. You murder and you would suffer from an agonizing sickness and die a painful death. And nature knows when to serve justice for murder: it is timed during ones old age, when one seems helpless. This, at least, gives one a chance to be repentant.
Believe me, soon when you find the father of all the killers in Masbate province succumbing to any or a combination of these diseases: CANCER, DIABETES, and KIDNEY DISEASE that requires regular dialysis - that is karma. And when he dies from these diseases – we will call and shout it out loud as JUSTICE.