By Alex P. Vidal
“The martyr cannot be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame; every prison a more illustrious abode.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson
EVEN if four Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) have been martyred in the ongoing protracted Israel vs Hamas rocket fight, the Philippine Government still hasn’t issued an official stand whether to denounce the October 7 Hamas blitzkrieg in southern Israel or tolerate the genocide-like bombardment in Gaza that has killed mostly Palestine children.
The Filipino martyrs would have been alive today had they opted to work in the Philippines instead of going abroad. It’s hard to imagine the anguish and pain suffered by their loved ones when they learned the horrific news.
The Filipino martyrs only wanted to eke out a living to help their families back home but were horribly dragged into the bloody carnage no one had thought would happen in the blink of an eye.
As ally of Israel-backer United States, the Philippines is supposed to side with Israel, but has maintained its silence which could be interpreted as as a sign of neutrality.
As a designated terrorist group, Hamas’ atrocities in the massacre of unarmed music festival participants must be condemned whether we are neutral in the age-old territorial dispute between the Jews and Arabs.
As a Christian nation, the Philippines must condemn the slaughter of Palestinian tots and other innocent civilians dismissed as “collateral damage” in Israel’s heavy rocket attack.
We can’t blame the Philippine Government if it won’t take an official stand since it has its own domestic problems to worry about, but the least if can do is to join the voices calling for a ceasefire before the murderous rampages of both Hamas and Israel will turn into an Armageddon.
Why “worry” about the war in a faraway place once inhabited by historical Jesus when the Filipinos are also fighting their own version of Goliath in the ever-chaotic West Philippine Sea?
Why “interfere” in the Gulf tumult when we can’t even solve our biggest “enemy” which is poverty.
There are also the Maute group (just in case these home-grown terrorist group has not been annihilated yet), the ever-confrontational MILF, and the remnants of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), the right wing putschists (please don’t underestimate them and don’t think there are no crocs just because the river is silent).
For the meantime, we honor and applaud the four OFW martyrs in the modern time Gulf conflict. Their violent deaths ostensibly from the brutality of Hamas should have been enough reason for the Philippine Government to take an official stand, but like what we have just emphasized, Filipinos aren’t inspired, or are not in the mood to agitate Hamas and infuriate Israel.
Outcomes of the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
During the 54th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the United States worked to uphold the universal values, aspirations, and principles that have underpinned the UN system for decades, announced the Department of State.
The end of this year also marks the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration.
“These two documents are cornerstones of our system of internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms,” said the Department of State in a statement.
During this session of the Council, the United States collaborated with UN Member States to highlight and address pressing human rights concerns.
“Our statements and positions underscored the U.S. commitment to promoting the universality of human rights, including by addressing discrimination, inequity, and inequality in all forms,” declared the Department of State.
It added that the United States also strongly supported Israel on the Council floor following the Hamas terrorist attack beginning October 7.
“This session,” it continued, “the United States advanced priorities on issues related to the full range of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including economic, social, and cultural rights.”
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)