Looking for Randy Malayao: Happy Now? (akda ni uberjam)

Randy Felix Malayao had just come from having dinner with some friends somewhere in Ortigas. Unable to secure a taxi ride, he opts to take the bus instead going to a relative’s house somewhere in Pasig. As he alights from the bus, several men grabs him and shoves him to a vehicle where he is blindfolded. They drive in to the night, to God knows where. He later (as in a week later) turns up in a military camp in Isabela. Since then he has been turned over to the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the same province.

This is the good news.

And that is how pathetic it’s become.

Malayao is currently a peace consultant of the National Democratic Front, which has been in an on-and-off relationship with the Philippine government insofar as negotiation processes go. He is also a former youth leader and vice-president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines for the Visayas.

Do these qualifications make his abduction and detention legal? No. Do they make him a convenient target for the government’s anti-insurgency campaign? Apparently, very much so.

But I digress. The sad thing about this affair is that the fact that Malayao actually turns up alive, albeit bearing signs of torture (according to reports of KARAPATAN), is actually good news. After all, his family would rather have him this way, bruises and all, than buried somewhere in some unmarked grave or just simply gone… forever.

Nevermind that his arrest (if one can call it that) was conducted in such a questionable manner. Nevermind that it was done by the military. Nevermind that after almost a week, he remains in custody without any case having been filed against him. Nevermind that during his “stay” with his abductors, he was prevented from having access to an attorney, or to any acquaintance at the very least, who could at least try to protect his rights.

Nevermind all that. At least he’s still alive and breathing.

Ang mga pinoy, mababaw lang ang kaligayahan.

Suddenly, that’s gone to take a whole new meaning. And that’s sad.

(Bisitahin nyo naman ang kanyang tahanan dito)

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