By ABIGAIL B. ANONGOS
Ayon sa Google, ang Bandillo ay nangangahulugang town crier o announcer. Hindi ko tiyak kung ang kahulugang ito ang nagbigay inspirasyon para sa kolum na Bandillo sa Northern Dispatch Weekly ni Randy Felix Malayao. Kung tama man ako, sakto at tumpak ang pagkakalarawan ni Randy sa kanyang lingguhang kolum. Rightly so. Manunulat si Randy.
In his weekly Bandillo, he wrote of his take on national developments (mostly on issues surrounding the peace talks between the GRP and NDFP) and local developments from his home region, Cagayan Valley. In fact, I encourage you to revisit his past columns to have a better understanding of the peace talks and how this serves the interest of the marginalized. There is a particular column of his that discusses the impact of the National Greening Program (NGP) to the indigenous communities of Cagayan Valley. Randy was also an ardent advocate of indigenous peoples rights, serving IP communities in Cagayan Valley through Punganay. Ito yung hindi ko makalimutan.
In his final write ups, he condemned the systematic attack of the regime on peace advocates and human rights defenders. He condemned the DOJ proscription petition which branded him a terrorist, along with over 600 names of individuals, including 7 Cordillera activists. He was critical of the regime’s decisions, programs and policies that furthered the system of exploitation and oppression so entrenched in Philippine politics. He wrote for the pursuance of just and lasting peace for the Filipino people, especially the marginalized.
Randy was brutally murdered in the early morning of January 30, 2019 on his way home to Isabela. The bus had stopped over in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya when two unidentified men boarded and shot Randy while he was asleep. The killers made their get-away in a motorcycle. No less an act of cowardice yet another brazen act by the regime who is on a killing spree of human rights activists and peace advocates. Randy’s extrajudicial killing is yet another intensification of the crackdown on political dissenters.
We condemn this and call on everyone to support the resumption of the peace talks, now more than ever. Randy fought for this not for himself but for the Filipino people. And rightly so, and he wrote about it without palya week after week after week at Northern Dispatch. Randy we last chatted with on Cordillera Day 2018—he was among the resource persons of the workshop on human rights on April 23. The year before we remember him all smiling and cheerful, a participant to Cordillera Day 2017 in Kalinga province.
Last night under the biting chill and purple sky, we joined the condemnation of Randy’s extrajudicial killing at UP Baguio, part of the nationwide action in the different UP units. Young activists, fraternity brothers, fellow writers in the Northern Dispatch and some fellow alumni from CEGP and UP. We are mourning now. We express our deepest condolences to Randy’s family and kin and the communities he served.
We are mourning now but let us continue to rage against the tyranny of this vicious regime. It is upon every person who truly believes in social justice including just and lasting peace to do so. To fellow writers let us honor Randy by writing for genuine peace and respect for human rights, for a world without exploitation, oppression and discrimination. Maging Bandillo. Let us persist in striving for just and lasting peace, let us persist in serving the people. # nordis.net