Thursday, March 31, 2011

Princess Mae Joy Villanueva: " I have to defend the poor and the oppressed"

So many to blame, so little time to go after them. This is probably what coursed through the mind of 12 year old Princess Mae Joy Villanueva, daughter of OFW Sally Villanueva, who was executed yesterday for drug charges in China. 


Princess will graduate as salutatorian today in Isabela. In an interview, Princess said that she, her brother and the rest of her relatives have accepted the fate of her mother. 


What surprised me was her response when asked what she thought of the fate of her mother. 


What happened to my mother has opened my eyes. I have to defend the poor and the oppressed,” Princess said.


Such thoughts from a young lady, whose family was indeed, victimized by a very cruel and very brutish system. Those thoughts have probably germinated in her young mind after learning of the way the government handled the case of her mother.


Princess' mother is just one of more than seventy Filipinos waiting for their own executions in China. There are at least 7,000 more languishing in several jails in several countries, including the Middle East. 


Her mothers' death has opened the eyes of many--that we continue to live in a fantasy, with the government always assuring us of a prosperous life, but has given us a prosperous lie. 


More than 15 million Filipinos settle abroad. Their eyes have surely been opened. 


These executions would surely lift the fantasy veil that this administration has conjured ten months or so that uplifted the hopes of many, but the many continue to hold an empty bag.


Yes, we are all victims of a vicious cycle of oppression, we who were born poor. 


This system has perpetuated a cruel cycle of alienation, where the poor stays where they are while the rich profits from the miseries of many.


The approach of the elite-run government is simple---give every single one 500 pesos, and be contented of it. 


Yes, we who were born poor, follow our laws. We respect our government, and what do we get in return? Nothing but crumbs from the tables of those who manage us.


More than 15 million of us realized this early on, and hopes to escape this dangerous situation by going abroad--whatever it takes, wherever our feet would take us.


Our diaspora has become a cash-cow for those who exploit us. Our government, mindful of the revenues that it can get from us, systematized the diaspora, and made billions of dollars from us. 


IMagine, this government, who has perpetuated and created this cruel and brutish system, which forced us to leave the comforts of our homes to work abroad, is the same government that continues to profit from our us when abroad. And when crunch time comes, we are left fending for ourselves.


Such is the fate of oppressed peoples like us, like Sally Villanueva, and her daughter Princess Mae. 


And what is the response of government whenever it fails in protecting its own people: pray and accept your fate. 


For Princess Mae Joy, she will not accept the fate already waiting for her when she grows up. No, Princess Mae Joy say, I will not accept this fate provided for me by this degenerate, cruel, inhumane and brutish system.


" I will defend the poor and the oppressed," she said while her mother waits for her turn in the lethal injection chamber. " I will be your angel. I will look after you, while in heaven, " that was all her mother said while the executioner injects those lethal fluids into her body. She slowly closes her eyes, with tears slowly forming there, and slowly dropping from her lids. 


She may have closed her eyes, but her daughter's eyes have been opened. And the eyes of millions have also been opened. 


The struggle remains.