Tuesday, February 19, 2008

letter for Jun Lozada

Dear Mr. Lozada:

Greetings from the mother of a desaparecido!

Allow me to call you Jun. I am Edith Burgos, the mother of Jonas, a desaparecido. I feel a close affinity with you knowing that you too suffered, even for a short while only, the agony of uncertainty of your fate in the hands of strangers.

I have monitored your testimony at the senate hearing and have tried to catch the news on tv and read all the articles printed in the papers. If it were not for the fact that I am down with the flu I would have gone to the senate hearing and listened at the gallery while praying for all those who participated. But it was not meant to be, I could be with you only in prayer.

I couldn’t help the tears as I watched you admit to being afraid that you would be another ‘Dacer’ when the car you were in sped towards Laguna. I wondered what Jonas’ thoughts were as they took him away. Was his head covered with a hood? Were his arms and feet bound? Were his cries muffled behind the tape placed over his mouth? Did he lay cramped on the floor of the van? Did they start hurting him while in the car even as he writhed to avoid the blows?

I said a short prayer of thanks to the Lord for sparing you any kind of physical harm and for allowing you to be back with your family. I tell you, the pain someone must bear, not knowing where her loved one has disappeared to, is unimaginable. I praise God for sparing your family this pain.

That He has allowed you to be abducted and returned unscathed is for a very good reason. Undoubtedly it is so you will be His instrument in bringing about changes in the country for the common good. That you have opened up yourself and allowed yourself to be His instrument, is another reason to praise God and give Glory to Him.

But when one allows himself to be of God and for God, he likewise becomes a target of men who are for men. Why? I think it is because these men allow themselves to be instruments of the evil one who will do everything to destroy anyone who is God’s.

Yes, we can see how they would like to destroy you, just as they have tried to ‘demonize’ my son Jonas. You probably are in disbelief how lies can easily be peddled by the supposed ‘leaders’ of the country and saying these lies without even batting an eyelash. Let me share that in the court hearings of the Jonas case, listening to lies from officers of the law is an ordinary thing, and these are said under oath!

Let me assure you Jun that there are so many of us praying for you and your family. We pray that you would have the courage to pursue this to the end. We pray that you and your family would be safe from harm and that the armor of God would shield you. We pray for the enlightenment of the leaders who must take a stand in favor of the common good.

In my search for Jonas, I have realized that his being disappeared is his mission on earth, to be the face of the others who have been disappeared but remain to be voiceless and unheard of. I can only bow to God’s will.

Your abduction is proof that this happens even to the best men of our country . . . even to a president of a government corporation. I pray that you would also find it in your heart to pray for the desaparecidos and their families.

Finally, I congratulate you for the courage you have shown by not following the standards of this world. You so aptly put it . . . ‘What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul.’

One with you in Christ and Mary,

Edita T. Burgos
Mother of Jonas

Letter for Jay

My dearest Jay,

I feel this restlessness in you and I am afraid you would be gone before we are back. If this happens, I cannot let you go without letting you know all the unspoken words that are haunting me.

I shall not dwell on my fears ... the dangers to your soul, the apprehensions of a mother ... the anxieties for a loved one. You already know these for I have told you so at our family council.

The mother in me feels this complete helplessness ... one I have never felt before ... not even when your ate told us she was getting married, nor when your kuya had his own share of problems. I knew somehow I would always be able to reach out and offer my hand if they needed me. But in your case, I feel that if a time comes when somehow there would be a need for a helping hand, I would not be near enough to let that hand be mine.

You were always the unique son ... eager to live life the fullest, impatient with the strings that kept you bound to heart and hearth. You showed this even when you first came out into this world ... in not more than 40 minutes that Easter Sunday.

Through your childhood, at play, in school and with your peers, you were always restless ... as if in search of a missing treasure. I know I cannot hold you any longer. But it pains me so much to let you go. If only I could get an assurance that you would remain faithful to the faith you grew up with in the family, somehow the pain would be lessened. But as I said earlier, I shall not dwell on fears.

If you must go in search of the truth, I pray that your search would be guided by the light and not by the darkness that breeds on distortions and errors.

The agony a mother must go through for love of her children is indescribable. I have no complaints. I shall not even mind for as long as you know that I am always here ready to welcome you back.

Bring this love with you and know that for as long as you are away from home, I shall be praying for you.

Life must go on in our family. Your brothers and sisters need our care still. The small ones need more than our care. I will always have that void and I shall be missing you.

But I cannot allow you to leave with a heavy heart. So take my blessings with you. May the angels keep you safe wherever you go. May the good Lord bless you and keep you always.

Remember, I love you very much.