By Raïssa Robles
It was a short mobile text message consisting of only nine letters that convinced President Benigno Aquino III NOT to bury the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at Libingan ng mga Bayani, two sources confirmed to me separately.
The text message was sent to PNoy’s mobile phone so you can see how close he was to that person. Not very many can reach the president via SMS.
But this was a friend and the content of the message was one that PNoy never ever knew despite their years of knowing each other.
It was the kind of text message that needed trust from both sides and the courage of the sender to expose a long-hidden shame.
The text message came from Human Rights Commission chair Loretta Ann-Rosales who had belatedly and publicly voiced her protest against Marcos’ burial as a hero because of the countless human rights violations that occurred during his regime.
Rosales texted PNoy – “I was raped”
Let me tell you, it is one of the the hardest things in the world for a woman to reveal that, especially to a man. Even if the crime is against her person, there is still a lot of shame in telling others that such a beastly thing was done to her.
That day, Rosales took her courage in her own hands and told the highest leader of the land why it was very important NOT to bury Marcos as a hero.
“I was raped,” she told a public official for the first time.
Later, that also gave her the courage to confide to ABS-CBN News reporter Lynda Jumilla:
“Iyung kuryente ang pinaka-ayoko. Naku Lynda, wag kang makuryente-kuryente,” she told ABS-CBN News. “That was the worst eh, and then yung sexual molestation. “
You know, that word “molestation” is a euphemism that disguises a world of pain.
Let me say this. Rosales was not the only one raped. The entire Filipino people – minus the Marcoses, their cronies and lackeys and officials and relatives – everyone else was raped of their self-worth, their dignity, their humanity, their sense of right and wrong, their dreams and their future.
I find it quite interesting that it was Rosales, and not anyone else, who received the first batch of declassified Martial Law documents from the Department of National Defense, whose former head Juan Ponce Enrile was once the Martial Law administrator.
I’ve heard that Enrile is now writing his memoirs. I’m keen to see how he will dance around the issue of human rights violations.
To me, the turning over of the documents is the first tacit admission by the military establishment that awful, unspeakable things happened during the dictatorship.
And if Marcos’ children can’t see that, then they are as much a part of the crime because of their continuing cover-up of such evil deeds.
It will also be Human Rights Commission chair Rosales and the officers of the military who can greatly help in the healing.
In this connection, I would like to share what Mindanao peace advocate Fr. Eliseo “Jun” Mercado e-mailed me recently. It talks about healing.
All healers are wounded healers, as Henri Nouwen said so well. There is no other kind. In fact, you are often most gifted to heal others precisely where you yourself were wounded or wounded others.
You learn to salve the wounds of others by knowing and remembering how much it hurts to hurt. Often this memory comes from the realization of your past smallness and immaturity, your selfishness, your false victimhood, and your cruel victimization of others. It is often painful to recall or admit, yet this is also the grace of lamenting and grieving over how we have hurt others.
To read Human Rights Commission chair Loretta-Ann Rosales’ personal story, click on the link below: