"Let the dead bury their dead"
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 1, 2014 - 12:00am

William Shakespeare, in Mark Anthony's speech on the death of his friend Caesar said, among many other things: "The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones." This weekend's celebration of both All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day should give all of us to have a quick respite from ''the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes,'' with which men and women hit each other and also give us a short haven of peace away from ''the maddening crowd'' of too many self-righteous and arrogant politicians and scoundrels who are dressed like peacocks in dens of lions and lambs. Those are quite a mouthful of hyperbole that signifies nothing but boredom and irritation.

I am reading right now a small paperback non-fiction, written by a brilliant Filipino historian, Ambeth R. Ocampo, entitled “Bones Of Contention.” It is about the endless debate on the death of Gat Andres Bonifacio, how he was allegedly murdered in the mountains of Cavite by uniformed men loyal to his adversary Emilio Aguinaldo. The bones of Ka Andres was supposedly exhumed somewhere in the mountains towards Ternate adjacent to what we used to patronize, the Puerto Azul Beach Resort and Hotel. But many other history writers claimed that these were not Bonifacio's bones.

There were many versions of how Ka Andres was killed. One version said that he was wounded along with his brother and they were forced to walk blindfolded under the control of one squad of Magdalo warriors. The warriors led by a Makapagal was ordered by one Noriel to bring the Bonifacio brothers to the mountain forest without telling them the purpose of their morning walk of many kilometers. When they reached the appointed place, Makapagal read to the brothers the written order for the execution of the Bonifacio brothers by musketry due to alleged treason against the Revolution. The brother knelt to plead for their lives but the Katipunan Supremo faced his death valiantly.

Another version told of Ka Andres trying to run away and escaped after his brother was killed in front of him. He was shot from the back and was hit at the head and he was further hacked with a bolo to make sure that he did not survive. His cadaver together with that of his younger brother were buried in a shallow grave that was marked with stones formed into a rectangle, and by a makeshift cross. His widow  Ka Oryang  or  Gregoria de Jesus, was also arrested and allegedly raped by some of the bastards who killed her husband. Bonifacio who planted the seeds of the revolution became a victim in the bloody hands of his own compatriots. This is the greatest tragedy that we should always remember.

At least Rizal was given a dramatic and dignified death, complete with a band and he was in clean and respectable clothing attended by his closest friends and some relatives. Bonifacio was desecrated, trampled upon by his own people. He was betrayed by his own allies and killed unceremoniously, and with treachery, bad faith and too much hatred. Today, there is a lot of hatred too. And people kill each other without the lightest remorse. Lives are wasted every day. Even the dead are not in peace. Perhaps this weekend should awaken us to some sort of realization. Let the dead have their peace and the living should stop disturbing them. Flowers are nothing. Candles are a waste. The only thing required is peace.


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