ninoy’s letter to soc rodrigo, 6 april 75
‘I HAVE DECIDED TO CHALLENGE DEATH’
Senator Francisco ‘Soc’ Rodrigo
My dearest Soc:
Why did God create a single man at the dawn of creation and not an instant crowd, a multitude to speed up the population of the universe? I’ve always been intrigued by this question till I came across the works of a Talmudic scholar several months ago. He said:
Therefore was a single man only first created, to teach thee that whosoever destroys a single soul from the children of man, Scripture charges him as though he had destroyed the whole world.”
How many children of men have been destroyed in this land of ours since our tyrant took over? How many have vanished in the night in the flower of their youth? How many are still dying in the south in a useless carnage that could have been easily averted? How will he be charged by the Scripture-he, who destroyed not only one but a crowd, a multitude!
Our nation has been transformed into a garrison state, an entire nation made captive and betrayed by its own leader. The tyranny continues to rampage unchecked. The nation awaits its end. But nothing happens! Why?
I believe the cause delaying our liberation may be found in ourselves; in our reluctance to assert our rights and frontally confront the forces of evil. We are afraid to die and our fear has immobilized us. We have forged our own chains with our cowardice!
The Greeks said we should not fear death, but rather the fear of death. Death has no terror, only death of shame!
I have decided to challenge death. I do not believe I’m sinning against my creator because in the end, I am not really my own executioner. By my example, I hope I can inspire two others. Like the dominoes, one has to fall to create the chain reaction.
It has been observed, people take their cues from attitudes not arguments; they object to manners, never consider ideas. This is the psychology of the mass. I’m beginning to see the validity of this observation. We have been arguing ourselves hoarse against the present tyranny with apparently little effect. We have been expounding our ideas of freedom and liberty evoking little response. The time has come to shift gears, to change strategy.
If we want our people to follow, I propose, we must cease arguing and start acting, doing what a freeman must do to assert his rights and to defend his freedoms. Action, not words. Selfless example, not ideas. The time for talking is past!
For my part, I’ve decided to act and set the example. If I fail, at least, it is not for lack of trying. I think it was you who said during our bull sessions in Bldg. No. 3 two years ago:
Tis better to try and to fail, rather than to fail to try and forever experience the inestimable loss of what might have been.”
Yes, Soc, I do not want to face my children and their generation in humiliation and shame for having failed to try and thereby allowing a tyranny to entrench itself.
I want to thank you for your spiritual guidance. The faith you rekindled in me sustained me through the dark nights. I remember you telling me: Everywhere, a greater joy is preceded by a greater suffering. I remember you telling me that God does not sleep, and that if we must be true to Him, we should follow the example of His Redeemer Son.
When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure: when slandered, we try to conciliate-for Christianity is a religion for slaves, or if you will, for the freedman of the Lord.”
Yes, thanks to you, I am a better man-a better soldier for truth and freedom.
You helped me find my Savior Christ through the fog of doubt and the thick clouds of human arrogance. Now that I have found him, I have achieved my inner peace. I cannot wait to finally discover-if the Lord had been so good to those who seek-what shall His goodness be to those who discovered Him?
My single prayer to Him had been: Let me not live to be useless. I think He has answered my prayers!
I am afraid I won’t be able to thank you personally and kiss and embrace your faithful wife whose demeanor in the face of difficulties had been our collective source of inspiration. Please kiss her for me and ask her to remember me in her prayers as she will always be in mine. Tell your children, especially King, their generosity and concern were the straws of hope I desperately hang on.
From the start, your faith never wavered. You were the bedrock of optimism. You were the ‘summer storm heralding the distant storm.’ Unfortunately, it is my sad fate to depart before the deluge.