I am daughter of a desaparecido, but I was also a daughter of political prisoner.
Years ago, when I was still unconscious of how the society works; when all I know in life was toys and games; I saw my father in the news raising his fist up high. I asked my aunts what was happening and they just said that my father was now a super star. Amusing but I know it was never like that. The next thing I knew, I never saw my father again. Not until we visited him in Camp Crame. Not behind bars but still confine.
I am my Papa’s girl. And not being able to play with him was in no way easy. What more writing letter of how much you want to go to the zoo? Of how great you are in school? Of how much you miss him? Of when is he coming home? I was eight back then and still, I asked them where my father is? Lies were thrown at me that he was just working and can’t come home. Lies for I was too young to understand. To young to know. After a few months he was released.
But fate decided not to be good to our family. For after four years he was again taken from us. This time, we really have look hard for we don’t know where he is exactly. From hospital to morgue, to precinct to military camps. Mama was restless and scared. We are restless and scared. At twelve, I was still young. But old enough to know that it happened before. Old enough to understand and to know what was going on.
I was twelve and this time I saw my father behind bars. He was thin and looked tired. I was glad that we finally saw him but sad to see him in that situation. I never expected to see him behind bars. Has he done anything wrong? Was he a criminal? Questions that filled my mind that I can’t accept. I finished my primary education without him watching me receiving my diploma. Without him during the important event for a twelve year old kid. Without him.
It was a turning point in my life. My eyes were opened to the harsh reality that person like my father – one that is protecting and fighting for social justice – can be subjected to arrest and detention without probable cause. That he can be charged of a crime that he never commit. Murder, illegal possession of firearms and explosive, kidnapping, carnapping, rebellion, etc. These are the common crimes being filed against the so called POLITICAL PRISONERS.
Political detainees and prisoners did not end during the oppressive and impunitive regime of Marcos, but continued on till the present Aquino administration. They are still detained after so many years of imprisonment. The subversives are still behind bars. Where is justice now?
I was just one of the few lucky daughters who were able to see and spend more memories with my own father. But how about the other few? Memories are being filed up without their father. Important memories without a father.
One has died without the liberty of having his last days with his family. A daughter or son was deprived to have his/her last memory with his father. How many more of us will have to experience the same thing? How many more of us will have to live from anguish and suffering?Free All Political Prisoners. Support the Hunger Strike for Freedom and Human Rights. Justice to all.