Josefina Lachica, or “Tiya Pingping” as we used to call her was transporting vegetables from a rural Barangay of Talisay City, Negros Occidental, to public market every Saturday. Her business was doing fine for years letting her three daughters to study in a prestigious Catholic school in Silay City.
Tiya Pingping was a family friend. Her oldest daughter was a childhood friend and classmate of our oldest sister.
She visited my mother two to three times every month and they always had friendly discussions about rural life, parenting, and family.
Our place is 32 kilometers from Silay City proper, and 27 kilometers from Talisay City proper. There were only 4 trips of public jeepneys from the market to our place during that time, as passengers do not go to town except for very important matters due to expensive fare and road difficulties.
Tiya Pingping was just one of the people from our Barangay who frequented to town, especially to public market due to the nature of her business.
The year was 1977 – five years after the former president Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law.
Because we are in Visayas and living in rural area, Martial Law was not much of our concern. We had a normal life and there was not much of change except for the frequent patrols of members of Philippine Constabulary (PC), which does not affect our daily lives.
It was June 1977 when Tiya Pingping failed to return home after going to the market early in the morning. Her husband, Tiyo Bening thought she spent a night with her sister who was residing at Silay City proper, but after another day of her absence, prompted the whole Barangay to worry.
Tiyo Bening went to her sister-in-law to check if his wife was there but failed to find her. He returned home immediately and took everything he could, and together with his three daughters, they left our place. The concerned man wasted no time to leave the place believing that his wife was abducted by the New People’s Army.
After two weeks, rumors begun to circulate that the NPA assassinated the good lady and mother of three because the communist suspected her as an Army spy. Her whereabouts and remains was never been found even until today.
The atrocities of Joma Sison’s NPA spread like wildfire after Cory Aquino was installed as President. I could never even count how many of our neighbors were either killed or disappeared because of failure in paying revolutionary tax, or failure to support the communist.
More than 30 years have passed after Martial Law was lifted, and the succeeding Presidents hold office. The people who forced Marcos to declare Martial Law are the same people who are causing chaos to this good country even until today.
Marcos may not be a perfect president like most, but people who are still crying as Martial law victims are worse than Marcos.
It is breaking my heart to witness the clueless young generation shouting on streets about Martial Law atrocities, yet they never experienced or witness anything.
Working in Metro Manila for more than 20 years , it is breaking my heart to witness how the bias media since the ouster of President Marcos, poisoned the minds of young generation.
It is breaking my heart to witness that this country is not going forward because of the interest of few influential individuals – who will do everything to try to control the government.
It is breaking my heart to know that Jomari Sison (who is responsible in killing more than 10,000 civilians and more than 15,000 members of AFP through his NPA/NDF), and his cahoot activists – the root of all evils, are still alive and enjoying their lives fooling the younger generation.
It is breaking my heart to see people who were just fetuses during the Martial Law, used by powerful “power hungry people”, are shouting on streets against Marcos’ burial. /Rene Palermo – originally from Bacolod City who is now residing in Makati for 23 years/