This Is Very Black-And-White

These are comments – verbatim – from INQUIRER.net’s coverage of the death of Andrea Rosal’s baby.

“maganda yan para di na maglahi ang mga tulisan mamatay na sana kayong lahat na komunista mga peste ng lipunan”

“Bakit di niyo ipinagamot doon sa Morong 43 na puro medical workers daw. Reklamo kayo ng reklamo na akala mo may utang sa inyo ang gobiyerno. Maraming ibang nagpapagamot sa PHG, kaya dapat lang na unahin yung mga taong sumosuporta sa gobiyerno, hindi yung mga gustong pabagsakin ang gobiyerno”

“Hindi man lang nabinyagan ang sanggol. Kung sa bagay, hindi naman naniniwala ang mga Komunista sa Diyos. Theirs is godless ideology.”

“MABUTI NA IYON PARA MABAWASAN ANG ISA PANG KOMUNISTA PAGLAKI.”

“Maybe it’s God will this child taken away by angels to have a better life in heaven playing and not growing up carrying a rifle as an amazon like her mom and late grandpa. NPA have no one to blame but themselves.”

“Kill all these communists….kill them all.
Kilala naman lahat yan….pakalatkalat….panggulo lang ang mga walang silbi.”

“sinadyang patayin iyan ng sariling ina para may maisisi na naman sa gobyerno ang mga pesteng komunista na iyan.”

Few things disgust me more.

This isn’t about “activism.” This is very black-and-white.

This begins – and ends – with the simple matter of an infant dying from the lack of proper care, because her mother is detained. We have been outraged by matters simpler than that. Matters that we can fathom, matters that we can somehow understand.

Yet some of us – those “some” exemplified by those comments above – have chosen to color this black-and-white issue – a baby dying for the lack of care – in saying that Andrea Rosal is a Communist, that the baby’s death means one less Communist, that maybe she even deserved it.

It’s insulting. Revolting. Disgusting.

This is not at all a defense of the New People’s Army – I think they’re more than able to defend themselves – but an indictment of the nameless ones. Those who hide behind the cloak of anonymity and settle for life under the bridge. Is this the kind of rational, level-headed discussion that we can expect from those who profess to care about the affairs of this nation? There are those who genuinely care and try to steer the conversation into higher ground, yet these celebratory comments – to celebrate the death of a baby – stick out like a sore thumb.

If this isn’t scraping the bottom of the barrel for “may masabi lang,” then I don’t know what is. This isn’t about raising Communists, or whether or not those who live on the fringes of the public should seek refuge in it in the hour of dire need. This is about mothers who seek care for their children. Mothers who lose their children. Babies who lose their lives.

No amount of intellectualizing or politicizing will ever change the fact that a baby’s life was lost because of the lack of proper medical care because the mother is detained. Or will ever change the fact that this mother is denied the right to attend the funeral of her own child. There is something very wrong there, and there is outrage to be found in there. And yes, this is an emotional issue.

To flesh it out: I cannot, for the life of me, understand why the Regional Trial Court would not allow Andrea Rosal to bury her child, or why a “sufficient number of jail guards” should escort her to the funeral of her baby. And I cannot understand why all this callousness should be directed to Andrea Rosal, either. This isn’t about a rebel in the jungle or a rabblerouser in the streets, but a baby who died from the lack of proper care.

The mother is in detention, and it is very clear – and most especially for those of us who claim to live within the bounds of the law – that those awaiting or undergoing a trial are innocent until proven guilty. Harm done upon the innocent is cruelty.

Like I said, this is very black-and-white. In that black-and-white there was no reason whatsoever to deny Andrea Rosal and her baby the care they needed the most before this happened. And there is no rhyme or reason for anyone to callously color this issue to the point of wishing death upon babies and harm upon mothers.

“There is no end to the illusions of patriotism,” Jorge Luis Borges once wrote. Yet those illusions – whether they’re founded on political ideas we do not agree with, or predicated on our own perceptions of organizations that we do not agree with – should not get in the way of what is human, fair, and compassionate. And when those illusions get in the way of common sense, of good sense, and of our sense of compassion and care: ladies and gentlemen, there is something really, really wrong with the state of talk in this country.

One thought on “This Is Very Black-And-White”

  1. This is perhaps one reason why I stopped reading the comments in online news sites. Sigh.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t just some courage afforded by the anonymity online. A lot of people would react to the news in the same way in person. And they’d say that perhaps she deserved to lose that baby for being a communist, without batting an eyelash. And again, the automatic association of communism to atheism. “Godlessness” still has a stigma attached to it. Sigh.

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