Which was torture for Migz Zubiri: the two weeks he claimed to have spent tossing in bed — perhaps in guilt, knowing he had benefitted from the large scale dagdag-bawas of the 2007 elections; or the four years he seemed to have relished as a senator despite his legitimacy in the Upper Chamber bugged by the same dagdag-bawas that will forever mark his tarnished political name?
Whichever, it does not make him a man even if he owed up to his guilt as he had stolen four years from Koko Pimentel, who may have been long tortured, himself, by the circumstances and the grand, evil deeds of Gloria Arroyo to deny him a Senate seat. Migz, even with his “surprise” resignation, does not differ with Gloria. They both lied, and lived and accepted their lies as truth. They both stole the sanctity of our votes. And they have killed many hopes, not just of Koko, but the rest of us who are still in search of an independent, clean and working government.
The praises Migz received lasted only after they were uttered. He resigned knowing 2007 would hurt his chances in 2013. And even if he denies it, all the lies and the stealing and killing of our votes and hopes would forever mar his name, even if Koko does not push it further after he wins his case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
But if quitting while ahead makes a man, as Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile had implied during Migz’s resignation proceedings that fell short of becoming a ceremony of his own knighthood, what makes a woman then?
Does a woman earn daintiness by not talking, or by claiming to have lost her voice after an operation that became an excuse slip against probes and more probes of the irregularities a woman have committed while she was in power over all men?
Or does she feel being tortured now by her own faults, when she no longer has absolute power?
The air-conditioned rooms at the St. Luke’s Hospital could not be compared to the torture chambers where Karen Empeno and Sherly Cadapan could have been hurt and raped and violated by all means only beasts could make. But a witness claimed they have suffered at the hands of their military torturers. And then we ask, where did such beasts come from?
Jonas Burgos, if he is alive, could probably answer that.
But he’s nowhere to be found, he could possibly be dead by now, killed by the same beast who have raped, tortured and killed Empeno and Cadapan.
These torturers, it’s now clear, have spawned from the practice of hazing new recruits in the AFP and the PNP.
It was not the first time we have seen photographs and videos showing graphic images of inflicted pain and torture against military and police hopefuls.
The tortured ones become torturers themselves. It becomes a cycle not even laws could stop.
Last week, we have seen the torture of new policemen by their seniors.
Commission on Human Rights Chairman Etta Rosales could not help but compare them to beasts. But it's just how far the CHR could go, for now. Yet we hope Etta would be different in bringing those abusive policemen to justice.
Instead of taking punishments or sanction, the perpetrators of these crime against human rights often get rewarded.
Remember Joselito Binayug, the violent, arrogant torturer of suspected criminals at the Tondo police precinct?
Well, he was recently rewarded a job as an instructor at the Philippine College of Criminology, where young students hoping to become police officers someday pass by his bloodied hands.
What would his students become? Pray God they don’t spawn more torturers as we already have enough.
We have enough elsewhere, that a Filipina got home last week with her right eye blinded by an abusive Kuwaiti woman.
We have enough of them somewhere that a high school teacher had his student walk the school’s field in kneeling position before he was ordered to kiss the ground.
And then, there’s this other high school teacher in Zamboanga who stripped her student naked as she searched for stolen things reportedly missing in their classroom.
If they aren’t torture, I don’t know what is.
And we’ll continue to close our eyes, it may not take time before we see ourselves being flogged in hate, or in sheer power trip by those who can.
Didn’t they steal our votes once… I mean, twice? If that isn’t painful enough, I’m no longer sure what would hurt more.