By TONYO CRUZ
Authorities have so far failed to solve Randy Felix Malayao’s murder, and we may never see justice for him at all.
True, the police has released sketches of the suspects and the CCTV videos from the bus company. But while the police has apparently received or gathered such information on Randy’s killing — they have engaged in intrigue and gossip.
The police obviously has not identified the shooter and the lookout. No names have in fact been forwarded. And yet the police spokesman in Region 2 has spoken quite conclusively that Randy had been killed by members of the movement he served as peace consultant.
It is the same police that has threatened to press charges of “obstruction of justice” against Randy’s elder sister Perla and the family lawyers Edu and Rina Balgos. Their crime: demanding that the police immediately return Randy’s belongings.
Media reports have also quoted the PNP Region 2 spokesman as saying that because the Malayao family obtained Randy’s belongings, the intelligence community had been deprived of potentially valuable information about the NDF. They cannot hide their glee that not only has Randy been murdered, but that he left his phones, laptops, and iPad!
It is as if Randy is the prime suspect in his own killing!
Elsewhere, Randy’s friends and colleagues in the campus press joined the nation in mourning a true “iskolar ng bayan.”
In case you missed it: Randy was a former vice president for Visayas and former national deputy secretary-general of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines. (At the time of his death, he was a columnist for the Northern Dispatch.)
Reacting to Randy’s murder, four former national presidents of the Guild and former senior officers and former national secretariat staff during their terms issued a statement titled “To write, to choose, to live gloriously.”
“We can find no words to capture our anger over the gruesome killing of our colleague and friend Randy Felix P. Malayao on Jan. 30, 2019, at a bus stop in Nueva Vizcaya.
“At the onset, we note that Randy was not facing any charges at the time of his killing. In fact, he had defeated in court a string of trumped-up cases filed by the military and police. He had also survived torture and unjust detention.
“When he was killed, Randy was serving as a consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines in the peace process which President Duterte had repeatedly scuttled and which had been ended by way of a presidential proclamation. Randy’s murder follows Duterte’s standing order to the military to mercilessly run after Communists and so-called sympathizers.
“We are mighty proud of Randy. We have always known that he would use his intelligence, political acumen, good character, kindness, humility, wit, and good disposition wherever his commitment brought him. We absolutely admire him as an outstanding propagandist, tireless organizer, and an exceptional builder of consensus. He had this awesome ability to bring people from different backgrounds (and even in difficult circumstances) together and forge unity towards a common cause.
“We were thus not surprised that the NDFP enlisted Randy as a consultant. Somebody who has an outstanding and incorrupt activist record as a campus journalist, student leader, and peasant organizer, could very well provide counsel to the peace process. Unassuming but indefatigable, Randy had been Bayan Muna regional coordinator in Cagayan Valley and vice president.
“Randy honored us with his friendship and also a kinship in our common commitment to campus press freedom and democratic rights. Like many others, we have many stories, anecdotes, and vignettes to share. His greatness is confirmed by the avalanche of tributes and requiems offered by activists, organizations, officials, ordinary citizens from across the country and elsewhere in the world.
“Randy was always in his element in the company of fellow campus journalists and students. He would quickly make new friends comfortable, and old friends would always miss him. His height makes for a commanding presence — but he didn’t intimidate. He was always humble and charming. And he could sing, and he would sing for Guilders with only a little nudge from us.
“We learned a lot from Randy, and we became better activists and better persons because of him. He inspired us through the difficulties he faced. He never wavered. He never gave up up until his abrupt end when a cowardly shooter murdered him in his sleep.
“We honor Randy for living up to the Guild’s creed “to write is already to choose” and for enjoining us by his own example to heed the words of a protest song he would always sing: “You’ve got to do more than that.”
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Malayao family. We cannot imagine their pain and grief. But we wish to thank them for sharing Randy with us and with the Filipino people who he served and who adopted him as one of their finest sons. Even as we decry his murder, we honor Randy and his family by joining countless others in enrolling his name in our glorious pantheon of martyrs.”
The statement was signed by: former Guild presidents Prestoline S. Suyat (Weekly Dawn), Ruth G. Cervantes (The Scholastican), Rey P. Asis (The Manila Collegian), Ronalyn V. Olea (Lyceum Independent Sentinel);
Former vice presidents Raymund B. Villanueva (The Bedan & The Philippine Collegian), Vincent Michael L. Borneo (The Amaranth), Owen S. Bayog (The Ripples),
Ben Cyrus G. Ellorin (The Crusader), Rolando Pinsoy (The New Mindanao Collegian);
Former national secretaries-general Jazminda P. Lumang (The Paulinian), Cherry Clemente (The Scholastican), Maureen A. Hermitanio (The Catalyst), Julius G. Matibag (The Bedan);
Former national deputy secretaries-general Angel Tesorero (Josephine Journal), Tonyo Cruz (UPLB Perspective), national deputy secretaries-general;
Former Metro Manila-Rizal councilors Ian Dexter Marquez (Dataline), Jemer Honra (Tinig), Dan Esponilla Dalac (The Catalyst); and
Former national secretariat staff: Cesar P. Dionido (Kalasag), Pom Cahilog Villanueva (The Torch), Rowena G. Narciso (Aklan Collegian), and Andrea B. Martinez (Manila Collegian).