My parents both served as Municipal Treasurers.
My Papa in Caba, Burgos and Aringay
And Mama in Bagulin and Bauang.
I have seen how they served the elections -
They'd line up in the Capitol for the ballot boxes before the elections
Account for them and take responsibility over them
They'd come home in the wee hours of the morning right after the counting
Spending sleepless nights in the office.
I remember I'd often complain - during these times, we were "fatherless" and "motherless"
When all my classmates and friends, and all the children in the neighborhood spent time with their parents, my parents were in the "Munisipyo" working.
I also saw how they worked hard and with integrity
I grew accustomed with their work habits and values
And with them, I always look forward to every election.
New hope, voting wisely, making my vote count.
But it all changed on August 6, 2007.
My mom experienced the worst "election" of her life in the May 2007 elections.
She received all kinds of threats and harassment.
Of course she was also threatened. She feared not for her life, but for our lives.
She wouldn't even want us to go home and see her.
The night before the elections, somebody sprayed bullets in our house while we were sleeping
and my Mom in the "munisipyo"
We experienced having "security escorts"
And the rest was history.
My mom got killed because she stood up for the truth.
Or should I say, my mom got killed because she refused to do something that is against her values and morals.
The one who pulled the trigger is already in jail.
And it took me a very painstaking process.
But the one who asked the man to pull the trigger is still out...
...and seeking re-election.
I made my vote count in 2007...but still wasn't "heard".