[People] “No mother should bury her child.” -Sen. Leila de Lima

This is what every mother fears. Sadly, under this tyrannical Duterte regime and its failed War on Drugs, this is a tragic reality that thousands of mothers have gone through; a harrowing ordeal that they live with every day.

Global Health NOW’s article, “Elderly Mothers Bear the Emotional Burden of the Drug War” (6 June 2019), narrates the plight of 70-year-old Elvira Miranda and 60-year-old Carmelita Bajacan whose sons where shot and killed during an anti-drug police operation in Manila North Cemetery on August 3, 2017.

Almost two years have passed but, as Bianca Franco, a researcher at the Ateneo de Manila University who covered communities victimized by the drug war, aptly described it: “Their sons had been dead for a year or more, but these mothers wept like it happened yesterday.”

Bukod sa namamanglaw at nanghihinang katawan dahil sa kanilang edad, bukod sa pagdurusa at kalungkutang dala ng pagkamatay ng kanilang mga anak, naiwan sa mga tulad nina Ginang Elvira at Carmelita ang mabigat na pasaning arugain at itaguyod ang kinabukasan ng mga apong naulila ng kanilang mga magulang.

Sila po ay kabilang lamang sa libo-libong mga ina na hindi pa rin mapigil ang pagluha dahil sa malagim na trahedya, subalit kailangang maging matatag para sa pamilya at sa paghahanap ng hustisya. Bukod sa mga pinaslang ng karumal-dumal na War on Drugs ni Duterte, sila ang mukha ng mga biktima—mga itinuturing na “collateral damage” ng marahas na polisiyang maraming buhay ang sinayang at wala namang pinatunguhan.

Even when their children are laid to rest, these mothers’ pain will never truly disappear. They will never forget. Dadamdamin nila ang mapait na alaala hanggang sa kanilang huling hininga. They will continue to cry for justice for their sons, daughters, and even granchildren whose lives were cut short by an evil man who had the gall to play god.

Stop the killings! Justice for the victims!

Dispatch from Crame No. 530: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Reflection on “Elderly Mothers Bear the Emotional Burden of the Drug War”


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