The spokesman of humanity

Herminiano “Sonny” Coloma, head of the Presidential Communications Operations Group, is very pleased by the leaps the country has come in its respect for human rights.

“It may interest you to know,” he tells journalists in a Nov. 18 press conference on the Maguindanao massacre, “that on a visit to Fort Magsaysay in September, one of the places President Aquino visited was the Aquino-Diokno Shrine.”
Read more…

Nov 28, 2010 under Opinions, People | no comment

The house on Panay Avenue

I make my living telling stories; have woken daily to the hunt for the next story, and the next. No matter what we do, or how many stories we tell, it always seems to be the same cramped alley we pass through, past the same woman crouched at a doorway with a tin tub washing clothes, past the same shirtless men with their bottles of gin, past the same teenage girls in their faded pink shorts, to listen to the same story of persistence and tragedy and grim hope.
Read more…

Nov 25, 2010 under General, People | no comment

Alysha

A small girl sits on a cement ledge bordering a sandbox filled with dirt. There are flowers growing inside, blush pink and blooming. The girl is maybe 4, maybe 5 years old, in a wrinkled blue-and-white school uniform, a streak of dirt on her cheek, a dimple popping out as the small feet kick against the ledge. Hold the picture, we tell her. Look at the camera.

Her name is Alysha. Her grandmother Arbaya tells the story. Of how her daughter Rowena left home early on a Monday morning with several of the neighboring women. Of how Arbaya got a phone call from her panicked daughter, past nine, that their convoy of cars had been held by the Ampatuan men. Of how her daughter said she was going to die, and that the media men were outside the van, already sprawled on the ground.
Read more…

Nov 21, 2010 under General, Opinions | no comment

Jude

It is Monday, high noon, when you hear the story. Your son tells you he heard about it from his teachers. He says it’s the talk of the school.

At first they say it was a kidnapping. You brush it off, there’s no reason to be afraid. Politicians are involved. They will kill each other off and haul each other to hell, and life will go on because this is Mindanao.
Read more…

Nov 14, 2010 under General, People | no comment

Reynafe

It is Monday, high noon, when you hear the story. Your son tells you he heard about it from his teachers. He says it’s the talk of the school.

At first they say it was a kidnapping. You brush it off, there’s no reason to be afraid. Politicians are involved. They will kill each other off and haul each other to hell, and life will go on because this is Mindanao.
Read more…

Nov 7, 2010 under General, Opinions | no comment