(Rudy Contillo emailed me this letter today, Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009. I have been afflicted by its contents, appalled by what is happening to the country, and insulted by the logic of those who perpetrated this deed.)
Lilian de Vera’s Letter
“Based on some witnesses’ narration, the police sprayed bullets into the van despite the lack of provocation or shots coming from the Crosswind van.”
“Two months ago I considered myself as one of those blessed and happiest people on earth. Why not? I married a guy who was an epitome of kindness. A guy who worshiped even the footsteps I made. More importantly, our union blessed us with a daughter who not only became the main source of our happiness….more so; she was the center of our lives.
“We’re simple folks who led a simple life. We felt the happiest even about mundane things and inconsequential ones that most people would only take for granted. Our joy mostly revolved on simple pleasure like a sudden trip to Jollibee or a late night marauding the fridge for any leftovers. A family, which shared plain happiness, humble dreams, and modest aspirations. Everything was fine…Until that fateful night on December 5, 2008.
“In keeping with my ritual or “panata” on every first Friday of every month, I went to Quiapo Church, to pay homage and respect to the Almighty One. My husband and daughter were supposed to pick me up in Pasay City after which we planned on giving our daughter a treat to Jollibee. I tried calling my husband’s cell phone, just to let him know I was on my way to our meeting place. He wasn’t picking up. Despite my trepidation and wonder, I took the next jeep going home and prayed that everything was alright.
“I felt relieved when near our place my phone rang. It was my helper. And the words I heard will forever change my life. My husband and daughter were shot to death by ‘men in uniform’.
“The ‘men in uniform’ were allegedly on a mission to take some gang of robbers victimizing people at large. The police shot the Crosswind van my husband and daughter were riding. Based on some witnesses’ narration, the police sprayed bullets into the van despite the lack of provocation or shots coming from the Crosswind van. In his last effort to save their lives, my husband grabbed my bloodied daughter and shielded her with his body while trying to run away from the police and tried to get cover from a parked jeepney My husband and daughter were so defenseless. How can you mistake a child for a robber? How can you shoot at someone who was already kneeling with head bowed, an indication of helplessness.
“These men, who were sworn to protect innocent people from criminals, had brutally slain my most precious ones, Jun and Lia. These men, whose avowed duty was to preserve the lives of the public against all harm and danger? They murdered my loved ones in the most cruel, savage and pitiless way.
“My husband’s face was unrecognizable because he was shot in the head at close range, while he was kneeling with his head bowed down. My daughter’s young body was riddled with bullets, one hit her head. Those ‘men in uniform’ killed my baby. They aimed and fired powerful weapons at two innocent and defenseless individuals. My husband and daughter are gone…….forever.
“I miss both of them so much. My heart bleeds in pain. My sorrow is deep. Their loss is too much to bear. I am alone.
“The only thing motivating me to go on with life is the mission to seek justice for the senseless killing of Jun and Lia. All I want in life right now is to see the people who were responsible for their death be convicted and punished, that Jun and Lia be given justice, and that their death will not be meaningless. My pains will be alleviated. The misery I feel will be lessened. My husband and daughter will be vindicated. I will learn to live the remaining years of my life…without Jun and Lia.
“I’m asking and begging everyone who will come across this letter/e-mail to please forward to all your relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Help me bring my cause to the eyes of the people capable of steering the wheel of justice to the right direction. Help me make the loudest cry worthy of attention by those people in charge in rendering justice…for Jun and Lia.
“Strength comes in numbers; it is where the impossible becomes possible. It is also where the unattainable becomes achievable.
“May God always protect and bless each and every one of you.” — Lilian De Vera