KEEPING VIGIL OVER OUR NATION’S FUTURE: A Call to Radical Mourning For the Loss of Our Vision
I am inviting you to raise our voices in silent protest over the deaths that have gone unmourned since our government undertook its efforts to eradicate the menace of illegal drugs from our communities.
We mourn for those who have lost their lives on mere suspicion of being drug addicts and drug pushers. We mourn for those who, because they are too poor and too afraid, cannot fight for their right to life and due process. We mourn for those whose lives have been reduced to statistics and who are now mere proofs to demonstrate the power of those in authority to procure for us, through whatever means, their twisted vision of an orderly society.
We mourn for the loss of our rights when we allow the police to enter our homes without warrants of arrest. We are slowly witnessing an order where we are being seduced to secede to those in authority our basic rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. The promise of peace and order and well-being is a sham for what this usurpation of our rights has obtained for us is nothing but fear.
We mourn for ourselves, when we allow our vision for our nation to grow dim. When, because of our exasperation with the long march to authentic freedom, have allowed ourselves to be seduced by quick results. Authentic transformation cannot be the result of handing over to one entity, our responsibility to create the kinds of communities we long to see. If we truly desire peace and well-being in our communities, we must see ourselves as its principal authors. Let us, in our mourning, re-affirm our right and our responsibility to be the agents of the change we want to see.
I enjoin you all to keep vigil then over our nation’s future. Let us offer a minute of silence every 8:24 pm (or 8:24 am during school days) in our communities as we mourn the many deaths that have befallen our nation. In our communities, let us create a wave of awareness over the need to guard our basic rights and freedoms.
Let us courageously re-affirm our conviction in our identity as a people of power – as a people who can create and will what is good for our country. Let us stand side-by-side again so that we will not have to live in fear. Let us refuse to bequeath to our children a nation deprived of a vision of its better self.
Br. Jose Mari Jimenez FSC
Auxiliary Visitor, Lasallian East Asia District