LAGUERDER, Edwin

From Bantayog ng mga Bayani (http://www.bantayog.org/node/324)

Response of Edwin Laguerder's Family to the Bantayog ng mga Bayani

With honor and elation, we humbly accept the recognition given by the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation for the martyrdom of Edwin, my husband, and of Amada Alvarez, Monico Atienza, and Rosalinda Galang.

On behalf of the families and friends of Edwin, Nono as we call him, and of Madge, Nick, and Roz, I express profound thanks and appreciation for this recognition.

Though it has been 25 years, the pain of Nono’s tragic and brutal death has never left us.   The arrogance of brute military force was revolting in the way he was forcibly driven out of the jeep he was riding, and shuttled to where he was killed.   His hands were poked with heavy pistols, para mawala ang mahigpit nyang pagkapit sa sasakyan, pinagsisipa, at sinisigawang animo’y kriminal.  According to bystander accounts, pinagsigawan pa nga raw ng mga pulis na nanghuli sa kanya na: “adik to, adik to, huwag kayong lumapit.”

Said arrogance was also evident in how his pleas to call the office and some lawyer-friends were blatantly ignored.  Hindi nawalan ng presence of mind si Edwin.  Nagawa pa nyang isigaw ang number ng office. Pinik-up ito ng isang bystander na tumawag pa sa office.  Kaya lang, dahil siguro sa taranta, hindi rin nagawa ng caller na sabihin ng maayos ang pangyayari.

We reckon Edwin was murdered first evening after he was captured.  His lifeless body was thrown to the sea – blindfolded and hogtied with weights behind him, siguro para mabaon na siya sa dagat.  

But his murderers only cut short Edwin’s mortal life – not his spirit and legacy.

Today, we honor this spirit and legacy he shares with Madge, Nick, and Roz, and thousands of other known and unknown martyrs in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship.

Hindi nila hiningi ito I am sure.  But precisely martyrdom is about this – selfless sacrifice in pursuit of what is just, so that all may live with dignity and pride.

Again, thanks so much for the recognition you are giving Edwin, Madge, Nick, and Roz.  Mabuhay!

In closing, I’d ask you to join me in a moment of silence to whisper a prayer of thanksgiving and gratitude for lives well-spent.