It's about dusk and it's raining hard outside the Inquirer office. Inside, I keep glancing at the pictures on the wall as I open this computer. A bond-sized black and white picture of a man wearing a white hospital gown, his face scrunched in pain, his hands pressed onto each other very hard across his chest, as if to absorb what he might have been feeling at the moment. Several hands can be seen near his head and shoulders pulling the white sheets apparently used to carry him. Commander Robot, the caption says. "Galib Andang grimaces in pain as he is carried from a military plane in Villamor Air Base for treatment of his gunshot wounds."
Next to this picture is another bond-sized black and white picture placed perpendicular to the first one. This other picture shows women carrying placards that read, "Palayain ang mga detinidong pulitical na Moro," "Free all Moro political prisoners." The caption says : A Muslim rally in front of DOJ building in Padre Faura as they demand for the investigation of Muslims fall guys during the government's crackdown on terrorists. The pictures are already dated. The shots were taken on December 8, 2003, apparently months before the dreaded Abu Sayyaf leader was killed in what was widely speculated as a prison massacre. I don't know why I keep staring at the picture.