The last week has seen Marlene Aguilar-Pollard weeping and wailing on tv. Her son Jason Aguilar Ivler was finally captured by a team from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in a daring raid caught on camera. As the NBI operatives closed in, Marlene stood there in that basement-room in a blue house dress, her long, wavy hair flowing across her shoulders like Medusa’s snakes. Her face was strangely blank and her eyes went dead as the bullets started flying, the NBI forces retaliating after Jason began shooting.
A mother witnessed her son getting shot. A mother who sheltered her fugitive son from the authorities. A mother who now faces criminal charges because she loved her son too much, so much so that she deliberately blocked out all that her son did to another mother’s son in November 2009. Jason Ivler is both lucky and unfortunate to have such a mother.
Being a mom myself, I truly do understand what Marlene Aguilar Pollard is going through. Becoming a mother changes you, the center of the universe becomes the child you bore, and even as you live, breathe and work and devote your time and energies to other pursuits, always, always your child (or children) and how he or she is doing will be the primary thought in your quiet moments. You want your child to be always safe, to be happy and healthy, for her/him to grow up a credit to himself/herself and a benefit to those around him or her. You want the child to develop into a productive member of society, preferably compassionate and aware of injustice and hence, develop too a need within herself/himself to help in efforts great and small to alter the world for the better.
But how does a mother condone the faults of her child? She mustn’t. To love doesn’t mean to tolerate wrong deeds, to comfort when the child has done mistakes. To love doesn’t mean to ignore the child’s faults and to allow them to continue uncorrected. And Jason Ivler, 27 years old and long past childhood, took someone else’s life for the shocking reason that the other man bugged him with his driving. And Jason, instead of facing up to the consequences of his actions, chose to run and hide, and he ran to his mother and hid in the basement where he had high powered ammunition.
On tv, Marlene Aguilar weeps. Her face is always crumpled in tears, and her voice broken by sobs. She weeps that her son was treated like a pig led to slaughter; she cries out against the injustice of her being denied to see and touch her boy. She is a mother, she insists; and it’s cruel that she’s being kept away from her son as he lies in a hospital bed with his wounds.
What of Renato Ebarle Jr and his mother? Renato Jr lies in his cold grave, and there is no comfort for those he left behind as his death came suddenly, violently, and without justification. It was a traffic altercation, and no heated words were exchanged, Jason’s car did not bear any dents or the slightest damage, there was nothing. But Renato Jr. paid with his life for a debt he suddenly incurred when Jason lost his patience, his sanity.
Marlene Aguilar is said to be a writer, a creative person, a woman of intelligence and talent. Yet she doesn’t appear to be anything else now but a weeping mother who refuses to see that her son did wrong, that she herself did wrong by sheltering him. My heart would go out to her had she apologized in her son’s name; had she admitted that she gave in to the weakness of so many other mothers when their child is in trouble and the first impulse is to protect, to give succor.
But she didn’t. She remains adamant in defense of her son, in her love for him which she says will continue even after death.
There is no sympathy for Marlene Aguilar and her pain. This is not pieta.
My most sincere condolences to the families of Jul Luna, Tanya Domingo and Ian Dorado. Even in their pain , I am certain that their parents must be so proud of them. Jul, Tanya and Ian lived for a cause greater than themselves and died defending it. They saw beyond themselves and their own young ambitions and fought for the rights of others so they too could dream freely and one day embrace the realizations of these dreams. Silang mga dakilang kabataan, tunay na huwaran. Silang mga rebolusyunaryo, hanggang kamatayan.
The contrast between Jul, Tanya, Ian and Jason Ivler cannot be more stark. Jul became a member of the NPA and in her hands, the gun was a weapon of liberation and a symbol of a people fighting for freedom and justice. In Jason Ivler’s hands, the gun was an instrument of murder, cold metal merely — a weapon of death that was senseless.
Jason wasted his youth and he is so lucky he survived his bullet wounds. His mother can be comforted, but no one else rejoices.
Jul, Tanya and Ian devoted their youth, their gifts, their very lives to the poor and the oppressed, and the enemies of the people used instruments of murder to send bullets into their bodies. They did not survive, and their parents grieve, and so do the rest of the Kilusang Mapagpalaya. Had they lived, there would have been happiness immeasurable.
On an infinitely lighter note, When Kim was home, I was able to see more movies in a month than I have in the entire 2009. In the month he was here, we watched Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: the Squeakuel.
All three movies provided me temporary escape from the usual problems of every day living. Well, except Avatar which was about a race of people fighting against intergalactic business interests who sought to harvest the planet’s resources even at the certain risk of destroying an entire civilization and the environment.
It’s great that many, many people have seen and continue to watch Avatar. It’s not the usual movie because of the theme it carried — armed struggle against invaders. The Navi saw no other way to defend themselves, their home and their culture than by fighting against the invaders who cared nothing about anything else than what wealth they could generate from Pandora’s resources.
Robert Downey as Sherlock. I don’t know if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would’ve approved, but I’m sure as heck Kim didn’t. He kept muttering that the Sherlock whose adventures he read and followed wouldn’t be able to punch anyone’s lights out; or allow himself to be stripped naked and then tied to a four-poster bed with only a pillow to cover his genitals.
Kim and Sir Doyle aside, I enjoyed the movie. It was rather long and it did ramble some, but it arrived and delivered in the end. There really is a lot to be said about not bathing and shaving when you look like Robert Downey. Jude Law as James Watson was delightfully dry and funny as well.
I am reminded by a snippet I read about the TV series ‘House.’ The creators patterned Gregory House, MD after Sherlock, and Jim Wilson after Watson.