By Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD
As I write this, we have just celebrated Philippine Independence Day a few weeks ago and the inauguration of the 17th President of the Philippines. It is also the month when we especially honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Is freedom a myth or reality? Is it a figment of the imagination, a comforting concept, or something that we forge into being by fighting for it, by championing it—even at great cost?
In reality and most certainly in the past 6 years, we have struggled to free ourselves from the clutches of lies and disinformation; malice and fear; and from the enslaving culture of the death. The recent national elections brought to light a tension that continues to haunt the nation. Is freedom a myth or reality? Is it a figment of the imagination, a comforting concept, or something that we forge into being by fighting for it, by championing it—even at great cost?
‘Business as usual’
By now, we’ve gone back to “business as usual.” But the question still remains, did we have true, honest, and fraud-free elections? News and proof of tampering, suspiciously malfunctioning PCOS machines, and outright electoral fraud seem to fly in the face of so-called national independence and freedom.
How free are we in reality in our own country? Some believe the recent polls were a death knell for true freedom and independence.
It’s robbery in plain sight, some say. Bare as bones and undeniable as gunpowder.
The Sacred Heart truly alive
What seems more tragic is how we as a nation have numbed ourselves to the obvious and turned our eyes from what cries out for an answer. It’s just like the bones of truth of the EJK victims we’ve been exhuming under the Foundation’s Project Arise. After their public cemetery tomb leases expire, drug war victims’ mortal remains are in danger of being lost forever in mass graves. As shown by recent postmortem examinations, several of the bones bear evidence of violent deaths, contrary to official death certificates that mention “natural causes” as the cause of death.
Are we truly independent? Is the Sacred Heart truly alive in our hearts and seen in our lives? We are schooled, but are we educated? We are evangelized, but are we prophetic? We are voters, but are we patriots?
Just like the bullet-ridden bones, our freedom is in tatters. We pray for grace from the Sacred Heart to rise up and fight for true freedom, which only God can give. ∎