First Person | A tale of two fathers

In 1992, Eleanor graduated with honors from elementary. Baylosis, who was in detention at that time, managed to secure a special permit to attend the graduation rites. (Photo courtesy of author)


Marklen Maojo Maga is father to 10-year old Li Boy. Maoj is a trade union organizer of the Kilusang Mayo Uno. He was recently convicted by the San Mateo Trial Court for crimes he did not commit.

His son upon learning the verdict instantly cried and could only mumble, “Ang daya!”

Why would a trial court convict an innocent man, on the basis of bare allegations by the police, without any proof of evidence of him possessing a gun because there was no gun to begin with?

Maoj was abducted while playing basketball in our neighborhood. Just before that he had breakfast with his family and sent his son to school. A 45-cal gun was planted on him only at Camp Crame after hours of interrogation and being incommunicado.

Maoj Maga teaching son Li-boy how to draw inside CIDG’s detention facility (Photo courtesy of author)

Three weeks earlier, NDFP Consultant Rafael Baylosis was arrested by the same operating unit of the CIDG-NCR. The police planted a grenade on my father’s bag of red rice belatedly upon learning that the Manila Trial Court denied its Motion to cancel his bail and issue a warrant of arrest against him. The QC Trial Court which heard his illegal possession of firearms and explosive case dismissed the charges against him, as it found his arrest unlawful and any search and evidence supposedly found on him is considered invalid. Baylosis was released from illegal detention one year later.

The story does not end there.

The Office of the Solicitor General is still trying to secure a warrant of arrest against Baylosis after the Manila Trial Court denied its Motion for Reconsideration. He is the only one left with a bail in effect, and thus has to attend hearings consistently (on the case of moving skeletons).

Maoj is facing 8-14 years in prison if the verdict will not be reversed by the courts. And Raffy Baylosis is still being tracked down by his predators. I cannot help surmise that this government made sure that a conviction be in order against Maoj after a Court dismissed charges against Baylosis and the latter walked out of prison.

When I was about Li Boy’s age, I also spoke at rallies calling for the release of my father who was then around Maoj’s age when he was arrested and detained for the second time during the Cory Aquino regime.

It’s already a full cycle for our family. The struggle never ceases.

We are not about to give up our fight for freedom and justice, even and most especially when a regime dares to kill human rights defenders and activists in broad daylight, haunt and kill its preys in the so-called drug war in the dead of the night.

Tuloy ang laban. (

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