Last Friday, two out of twelve convicts in the Aquin0-Galman double-murder case were released after their sentences were commuted by Malacanang.
My heart has always bled for these men. Having served as a prison volunteer in the past, I met the news with much happiness and relief.
Whether or not they killed Ninoy is now out of the question. They have suffered long enough and they have always shown remarkably virtuous behavior under incarceration. Their kids grew up without a father, their families struggled in pain.
Rolando de Guzman, 0ne of the freed convicts, was already bedridden after suffering from four strokes. I was teary-eyed while watching videos of him being brought of jail on a stretcher. Felizardo Taran, the other guy, was likewise sickly.
But Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, speaking on his family’s behalf, condemned the move “in the strongest possible terms”. He accused President Gloria Arroyo of “petty vindictiveness” for the commutation. Noynoy contends that it was meant “to increase the hurt” and as “a way to get back” at their family’s anti-administration stance.
It escapes me why Cory Aquino and her kids, to this day, cannot find it in their hearts to forgive the soldiers who were implicated in the assassination of Ninoy 25 years ago. We all know that those lowly soldiers, if indeed they participated in Ninoy’s murder (Public Attorneys Office chief Persida Acosta, who worked on the soldiers’ release, opines that they did not), were just pawns of still undetermined masterminds. Or maybe they have known the masterminds all along, just that the poor soldiers are easy targets of the Aquino wrath.
Monuments were built for Ninoy, Cory became president, Hacienda Luisita escaped land reform, Noynoy is now a senator, and Kris Aquino has long been torturing us with her annoying presence on television—what else could they ask for?
You know, karikna, that I am not exactly a fan of Gloria Arroyo, but this is one of her decisions that do not deserve flak.
Two out, ten more to go.
Thumbs up to Mrs. Arroyo.