Thursday, March 31, 2005

truth and hacienda luisita

Public killings. Frustrated Murders. Known abductions. These are but some of the disturbing events now associated with Hacienda Luisita. The mere mention of “Hacienda Luisita” already brings to mind long marginalized farmers, their much violated rights, their pitiful starving families.

It is not enough that Hacienda Luisita and the Agrarian Reform are anti-thetical realities. It is not even enough that the vast land holding brings to life the struggle between the wealthy and the poor, between the powerful and the helpless. More is demanded: lives had to be wasted, blood poured, tears shed.

Those killed, those abducted and those hurt on the occasion of the Hacienda Luisita debacle were mostly identified with the so-called “left” organizations. And the conclusion of those in power and authority was fast, obvious, easy—and wrong!

Those who joined the barricade, who defended their rights, who found support from organizations of political activists—all these people were held suspect and considered dangerous to peace and order. Immediate conclusion: Disperse them. Run after them. Get rid of them. Wrong!

They conveniently forget that truth is beyond the right and the left. Truth is not necessarily the monopoly of the right. And the left is neither always wrong. It is about time that people come to realize and accept the reality long since pointed out: truth knows no party.

Why is it that truth should always be held by those holding power, by those having wealth, by those wielding guns? Must the poor and the helpless, the protesters and dissenters be always wrong?

Lest people forget: many of those who are now wealthy and influential were poor and helpless during previous regimes. Many of those now in power and authority were protesters and dissenters before.

Hacienda Luisita begs for a human and just solution. The poor and rich need one another. The powerful and the helpless are for one another. This is the right standing equation. When they fight, they all lose. This is the historical constant.

31 March 2005