By Raïssa Robles
Roilo Golez was the last person I thought would die so soon. The former lawmaker and national security adviser was lean; he looked fit and was active.
His death came as a shock because the last thing he tweeted was this:
In retrospect, it seems that while he was saying “Good morning!” Philippines, the photo was really that of Golez leaping into eternity.
So long, Sir. I will miss interviewing you.
I will miss your patient explanations.
To the end, Golez was tweeting and writing about the West Philippine Sea and standing up for the rights of Filipinos.
He died on the eve of our Independence Day.
One of his last tweets was a personal appeal to President Rodrigo Duterte to file a diplomatic protest on behalf of Filipino fishermen whose catch was being seized by Chinese coast guards.
“We Filipinos should stand up for this man.
Mr. President, Sir, I appeal to you to order the filing of a strong, publicly announced diplomatic protest.
I believe Chinese Coast Guard personnel not only violating our Exclusive Economic Zone but also committing acts of piracy.”
Golez insisted that the fishermen were being bullied, contrary to the government’s denials.
“The Chinese Coast Guard men did not look like they were bullying? They came on board an armed speed boat from a huge mother ship to confront a fragile Filipino banca. That per se is bullying. No need for mean looks and huffing and puffing.”
I have an idea, Sir.
Do you think you could spare a moment to visit Duterte’s bedroom, you know, the one with the mosquito net, and remind him yourself everything he should be doing to ensure that the West Philippine Sea benefits future generations of Filipinos?
Perhaps, now, he will listen to you.