To the wives, mothers, sisters and kin of the SAF 44

By Jang Monte-Hernandez

I do not know what to say or perhaps I do not know how to say it right, which is why I have kept my personal thoughts to myself until this post.

I am sorry for your loss.

Like you, our family lost Recca, my most endeared sister in war. She was a member of the New People’s Army. It was the ardent belief of the need to install a people’s democratic government that led her to actively take part in the civil war that rages in our countrysides. For Recca and her comrades, they all knew that an untimely death is often an inevitable consequence.

You also lost your loved ones in war, in defense of a government that is being challenged by several armed groups, ideologically guided or otherwise. Choosing to be part of the Aquino government’s SAF makes your loved ones just as vulnerable to untimely, even violent death.

There are similarities and there are differences. You see, they were enemies, my sister Recca and your loved ones, but I am with you as you cry for justice.

We cry for justice and we hold the Aquino government responsible for the death of my sister and her comrades. After all, they did not die in a simple encounter. Their bodies all bore signs of desecration. Recca’s skull and limbs were crushed. My sister suffered no bullet wounds, indicating how she was captured alive and tortured to death by operating forces led by the 41st IBPA that fateful day of September 4 in Lacub, Abra.

You also cry for justice and your grief mounts as details of the operation are slowly unveiled. Who do you hold accountable for the deaths of your kin?

When we cry for justice, when we ask for justice, to whom do we address our call? From whom do we ask justice from?

I have long realized that I cannot expect justice from the Aquino government. I do not ask justice from Aquino or from any of the institutions that represent and perpetuate the social injustices that Recca fought.

I have high hopes that there is another government that is willing to take on our call. Recca often told us how they were implementing agrarian reform, how they were providing education, health services, potable water sources and even electricity to far flung barangays. Recca often spoke of how they were breaking the bonds of injustice, slowly but surely. In this country, there is a just government.

When I cry for justice i direct my call to you, to myself, to the people.

When I cry for justice, I am asking you, myself and the people to do what we can, in ways big or small to make the unjust government weak and the just government strong.

Yes, I am with you as you cry for justice. (

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