Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The man who happens to see Franz Kafka

The media advisory that reached us from the Eastern Mindanao Command early in May said the mining activist who claimed to be Romeo Rivera was actually Felix Armodia, a ranking member of the Communist New People's Army operating in Davao del Sur and surrounding areas. The Eastmincom said Rivera was but an alias of Armodia. I did not immediately brush aside this claim by the military until I had the chance to go to where the prisoner was detained and had the chance to ask him. "Who are you?" I asked, staring at his face. "What is your name? Are you Felix Armodia?" "No," he said. "I am Romeo Rivera. I have a father and a son, who are both my namesake. I am Romeo Rivera, Jr.," he said again, "I have a father whose name is Romeo Rivera Sr., he is confined in a hospital in Tagum city, you can check that out," he said, "Please check that out. I have a son whose name is Romeo Rivera III; he works in a call center in Manila; I am Romeo Rivera Jr., how can I have any other name?" I walked away as shaken and horrified as he was.

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