Saturday, February 19, 2011

No ordinary man

Jayson Ordinario in an interview for DZMM Teleradyo

MANILA, Philippines - His name is Jayson Ordinario, whose sister Sally Ordinario Villanueva together with other two Filipinos, will face death from the hands of Chinese executioners. (As of press time, the Chinese government postponed the execution of the three OFWs as per Vice President Jejomar Binay's visit to appeal for the case).

That morning he surfaced, I met Jayson. I listened hard to his story and I thought, here is a no ordinary man with his extraordinary story - a story in search of freedom.

Two years ago, before the stir of the media today, Sally Villanueva was incarcerated in China for allegedly smuggling drugs. It was news to her. Unknowingly, she became a "drug mule," a courier for a Western African syndicate. A bag given to her by her recruiter known to be "Tita Cauayan" from Isabela contained the drugs. The said bag was specially crafted to hide the heroins beneath the cloth, unknown to Villanueva.

She left the country a day before Christmas with high hopes that next Christmasses would include "noche buena" for her family. After all, she was promised a hundred thousand peso salary per month, a dubious offer for someone whose only wish is to provide for her struggling family.

The case rolled silently for two years without solid aid from government. So the family decided to take matters in their own hands.

So then enter Jayson. In the hopes of neutralising the drug case of his sister, he agreed to become an asset for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

"Sabi po sa 'kin ng DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) 'pag may naibigay na impormasyon na pwedeng bumuwag sa sindikato, baka hindi mabitay yung ate ko."

(I was told by the DFA that if there's any evidence that could blow-up the syndicate, there's a huge chance that my sister's case would be neutralised)

And he was successfull! Well, if we are to talk about the cracking of a large drug syndicate and putting them in their rightful cells, indeed, Jayson was a success. But the case of his sister remained untouched.

Apparently, it was not enough that Jayson had to swallow 34 capsules of high grade heroin that caused his voice to wane for few weeks. It wasn't enough that he risked his life infiltrating a huge drug foreign syndicate acting as an asset for the drug agency. It is never enough that he's receiving death threats non-stop after putting some huge names in the business of drug trafficking.

"Gagawin ko ang lahat para lang mailigtas ang ate ko."

(I'll do everything just to save my sister)

Jayson's family patiently waited. But nothing happened.

In a country where cops are always late and the president no longer read newspapers because according to him it was all but pure criticisms on the way he is steering this nation, we act and try to save the day at the last minute call of things. I couldn't help but wonder how this significant case seemed to have missed the to-do-list of the the Department of Foreign Affairs that the talks that float around these past weeks are the possible candidates of President Aquino that will replace outgoing Secretary Alberto Romulo.

Most of all, I could not fathom how the president's mind work as to why he's capable of saying things like "this will test the bilateral relationship [of the Philippines and China]" and "we'd like to see reciprocity, hopefully."

For one, this is not just a test of the diplomatic ties between the two countries because lives and future are at stake here. And second, this is why the Philippine's snob of the Nobel Peace Prize awarding then just to favor China is useless and a futile effort. 

We try and heave the lives of these people because they are innocent and mere victims. We appeal for the case because there's a slim legal chance that the case would be neutralised. We don't want phone calls. We don't like arranged conversations. What we want is for the president to take a huge leap of action and protect, not only the lives of those three Filipinos in China but as well as the thousands of Filipinos out there who are VICTIMS of different injustices across the world. 

Of course, the president is no God and could not make miracles. The lethal injection for Sally Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain may push through. But what I want to see is a country who struggled to fight for the innocence of its people and a president who did not give up and gave his best for the lives of the people he is sworn to protect.

The president could take few notes from Jayson Ordinario. We all should take lessons from the man Jayson Ordinario, whose quest for freedom made him risk his life, all for upholding the truth. And in the words of our dear president, this will test, not the bilateral relationship of our country to any other country, but the strength of this administration's backbone to carry the country and its people all over the globe. 

with reports from Inquirer

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