FIRST PERSON | A Tribute and a Statement

National Democratic Front of the Philippines Randy Felix Malayao. (Photo from Bp. Rex B. Reyes, Jr. Facebook page)
By BISHOP REX B. REYES, JR.* 
Woke up to a grey, overcast morning. . . on the verge of raindrops. The sun is hidden from view. The morning sky mourns for you, Randy Malayao, peace advocate and example of uprightness. And I do, too – most grievously. Your death in the hands of a gunman, in a bus in the middle of the night and while you were asleep is an act of terror most repugnant.
A system is afraid of you. It is afraid that you spoke the truth about its greed, its covetousness, and its corruption. It is afraid that you spoke the truth about the malevolence and viciousness of its minions. It must be a system that espouses violence and more violence. It is the same system that jailed and tortured you. The same system that oppresses us all. The same system that took your life.
It is afraid that you kept alive the dream of a just and lasting peace. It is a dream that even now is real among the sinews that interweave hope upon this land.
I join those justly enraged by the treacherous extra judicial killing and who have condemned the perpetuators of this dastardly act. I reach out to the bereaved members of his family.
The grey overcast sky lasted for five hours. No raindrop. Only the appearance of the glorious sun. And the eyes are too parched to let a tear drop. But, it is just as well. You now dwell in the hearts and minds of all the just and decent and a haunt to the paragons of impunity.
Go, my friend, martyred gentle soul, roam the plains of the Pacific coast and the hinterlands of the Cordilleras. Be as the wind echoing the mountains and trees as they chant the eternal ode of justice and sway to the enduring dance of peace, until the Lord of the Dance shall return.
*The author is a Bishop Coadjutor, Central Philippines, Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

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